“Metzgete”

“Metzgete”

It’s November and it’s happening again in many places in the country, the Metzgete. “Metzgete” literally means “slaughter” in Switzerland and in the extreme southwest of Germany, but it also stands collectively for all the dishes that are typically prepared from blood, offal, bacon and belly or head meat (usually from the pig) immediately after slaughter … (Wikipedia). Comet photographer Jules Vogt, who one can assume was not averse to such feasting, created an impressive reportage of the slaughter of a pig and the subsequent feast in November 1968. Vogt meticulously documented the events with his usual closeness to the people.

Jules Vogt: Stör-Metzger, Schweineschlachter Herrr Bösiger an einer Bauernmetzgerei, November 1968 (Com_L17-0655-0004-0001)

The animal seems to sense that the two gentlemen are up to no good.

Jules Vogt: Stör-Metzger, Schweineschlachter Herrr Bösiger an einer Bauernmetzgerei, November 1968 (Com_L17-0655-0002-0004)

On the authority of the Animal Welfare Act, every animal must be stunned before slaughter. According to Wikipedia, only in home slaughtering pigs are also stunned with the bolt gun. This involves placing the bolt gun firmly on the sow’s forehead two finger widths above her eyes and pulling the trigger. No more than 10 to 15 seconds should elapse between the stunning and the actual killing, the so-called stabbing (Aichwalder, p. 39). The following picture by Vogt shows the neck thrust used on pigs, cattle and horses and the bleeding out.

Jules Vogt: Stör-Metzger, Schweineschlachter Herrr Bösiger an einer Bauernmetzgerei, November 1968 (Com_L17-0655-0004-0003)

The pig is then scalded in a vat, dehaired, and placed in 65-degree water for four minutes. After scalding, the claws are removed and the remaining bristles are burned off with a gas flame or scraped off with a knife (Aichwalder, p. 41).

Jules Vogt: Stör-Metzger, Schweineschlachter Herrr Bösiger an einer Bauernmetzgerei, November 1968 (Com_L17-0655-0004-0004)

Jules Vogt: Stör-Metzger, Schweineschlachter Herrr Bösiger an einer Bauernmetzgerei, November 1968 (Com_L17-0655-0004-0008)

Once the pig is thus cleaned, the abdomen is opened and the intestines and urinary bladder are removed without injuring the digestive system. The sternum is separated and other organs such as the lungs, liver, heart and kidneys are removed (Aichwalder, p. 41).

Jules Vogt: Stör-Metzger, Schweineschlachter Herrr Bösiger an einer Bauernmetzgerei, November 1968 (Com_L17-0655-0009-0002)

Jules Vogt: Stör-Metzger, Schweineschlachter Herrr Bösiger an einer Bauernmetzgerei, November 1968 (Com_L17-0655-0009-0001)

The carcass and its offal must be inspected together (Aichwalder, p. 41). This ensures meat hygiene and the preparation of the carcass can begin.

Jules Vogt: Stör-Metzger, Schweineschlachter Herrr Bösiger an einer Bauernmetzgerei, November 1968 (Com_L17-0655-0003-0001)

Jules Vogt: Stör-Metzger, Schweineschlachter Herrr Bösiger an einer Bauernmetzgerei, November 1968 (Com_L17-0655-0003-0004)

Jules Vogt: Stör-Metzger, Schweineschlachter Herrr Bösiger an einer Bauernmetzgerei, November 1968 (Com_L17-0655-0006-0003)

Link:

Article about Metzgete in Wikipedia (last visited on 07/06/2020).

Sources:

Aichwalder, Gudrun, & Fink, Franz. (2012). Hausschlachten : Zerteilen, Verarbeiten, Vermarkten (Stocker-Praxisbuch). Graz: Stocker.

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