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Document 52011XC0212(05)

Publication of an application pursuant to Article 6(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs

OJ C 45, 12.2.2011, p. 28–31 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 45/28

Publication of an application pursuant to Article 6(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs

2011/C 45/11

This publication confers the right to object to the application pursuant to Article 7 of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 (1). Statements of objection must reach the Commission within six months from the date of this publication.




EC No: SI-PGI-0005-0416-29.10.2004

PDO ( ) PGI ( X )

This summary sets out the main elements of the product specification for information purposes.

1.   Responsible department in the Member State:


Ministrstvo za kmetijstvo, gozdarstvo in prehrano RS


Dunajska 58

SI-1000 Ljubljana



+386 14789109


+386 14789055


2.   Applicant group:


Združenje izdelovalcev Zgornjesavinjskega želodca


Rečica ob Savinji 55

SI-3332 Rečica ob Savinji



+386 38390910




producers/processors ( X ) other ( )

3.   Type of product:

Group 1.2.

Meat products (cooked, salted, smoked, etc.)

4.   Specification:

(summary of requirements under Article 4(2) of Regulation (EC) No 510/2006)

4.1.   Name:

‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’

4.2.   Description:

‘Zgornjesavinjski’ želodec (plural: ‘želodci’) is an air-dried/matured meat product made from high-quality pork meat (thigh, shoulder) and firm back bacon. Salt and seasoning are added to the meat filling, which is then stuffed into natural casings such as pig stomachs, pig bladders, beef intestines (the blind gut) or artificial permeable casings.

The product takes its name from the traditional practice of stuffing the filling into natural casings, mainly pig stomachs.

‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’ consists of meat and bacon in a ratio of between 85:15 and 80:20. Garlic, salt, pepper and sugar are also added. The use of nitrites, nitrates and other additives is not permitted. The salt content is less than 7 %.

The dried ‘želodec’ is round or rectangular in shape. It weighs at least 0,7 kg and, due to pressing, has a characteristic flat shape and a thickness of 3-5 cm. The casing is smooth, fits tightly to the filling and is lightly covered with a characteristic greyish brown mould of the genus Penicillium.

The flat shape means that slices of ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’ are thin and long. A distinguishing feature of ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’ is its pronounced aroma, which is complemented by the added spices that do not mask the basic aromas of the matured meat and the bacon.

The texture is gently firm and suitable for cutting into slices. Slices have a characteristic and recognisable ‘mosaic’ made up of the pinkish-red meat part and the particularly visible pieces of bacon, which are white to pale white in colour. In the mouth, slices are smooth and quickly disintegrate.

4.3.   Geographical area:

The protected geographical designation is applied only to ‘želodec’ produced in the area of the Upper Savinja valley. To the north, the border of this area runs along the Olševa ridge, then along the ridge of the Smrekovško Pogorje hills. To the south, it passes via the summits of Dobrovlje and Menina, which separate the Upper Savinja valley from the Lower Savinja and Tuhinjska valleys. To the west, the border runs through the Črnivec pass and on to Krajnska Reber, the Velika Planina plateau and via the Presedljaj pass to Ojstrica. From there it can be traced along the top ridge of Grintavec to Skuta and then north to the Mrzla Gora mountains. Here it meets the Slovene-Austrian state border, passing north to Pavličevo Sedlo, then turning east and back to Olševa.

4.4.   Proof of origin:

The ‘želodec’ must be produced and matured in the geographical area. In order to ensure traceability, ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’ production plants must be registered in the geographical area.

Producers must keep records proving that they abide by the requirements of the specification for ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’. They must keep details of the raw materials bought and used, the production process and the quantity and weight of ‘želodci’ produced and sold. Each ‘želodec’ is identified by a label indicating the batch and the date of production. Each batch is marked with a serial number and the quantity and weight of ‘želodci’ in the batch.

4.5.   Method of production:

‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’ is produced using high-quality pork (thigh and shoulder) and firm back bacon from meaty breeds of pig and their cross-breeds. The cooled meat is minced into 8-10 mm pieces and the cooled bacon is cut into pieces 6 to 8 mm in size. The meat to bacon ratio is between 85:15 and 80:20. Garlic is added to the mixture (the garlic cloves represent 1-2 % and the garlic liquor 4-6 % by weight of the filling), together with salt, pepper and sugar. Mixing is done by machine or by hand. The filling is stuffed into natural casings (stomachs, bladders, beef intestines) or artificial casings which are steam-permeable. The casings are closed with a wooden peg or by stitching. The mass of a freshly-filled ‘želodec’ is between 1,3 and 2,5 kg. The ‘želodci’ are then drained for two days and pressed between boards for four to seven days while air circulates gently around them.

Drying and maturation takes place in natural conditions in suitable premises (drying compartments of huts) at a temperature between 12 °C and 18 °C and a relative humidity between 60 % and 80 %. In poor weather conditions, the humidity and temperature are controlled through suitable airing or by a partially controlled environment.

The ‘želodci’ are dried on shelves. At the start of the drying process, the ‘želodci’ are turned two to seven times a week. The drying/maturation process lasts three to five months, depending on the weight of the ‘želodci’. During drying, a characteristic greyish-brown mould of the genus Penicillium develops on the casing. The mould is of natural origin and therefore has no disagreeable odour; it gives ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’ its characteristic organoleptic properties and, at the same time, prevents the product from drying out too fast.

The ‘želodci’ lose at least 36 % of their weight during drying. The final weight of the product is at least 0,7 kg.

Once drying/maturation is complete, sensory testing is carried out to check the quality of the products. The ‘želodci’ may be vacuum-packed whole or in halves. Slices are vacuum-packed or packed in a modified atmosphere. The products are stored in a dark, cool place at a temperature not exceeding + 8 °C.

4.6.   Link:

The protection of ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’ is based on its renown. The chief characteristic of the ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’ is the traditional production method. The dried meat products generally produced in other areas of Slovenia are mainly home-made sausages and salami. But in this mountain-encircled region, the recipe for authentic ‘želodec’ has been passed on from generation to generation for centuries. ‘Želodec’ production first developed in the high, mountainous part of the Upper Savinja valley. The first records of the production of ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’ probably date back to the beginning of the 19th century. The ethnographer Jože Lekše wrote in his manuscripts about the ceremonial importance of ‘želodec’, which was served on special occasions, such as weddings, funeral repasts or family celebrations. In the 20th century ‘želodec’ started to be produced in the lower-lying and more populated parts of the valley as well, which is proven, among other things, by a handwritten recipe for the production of ‘želodec’ dating from about 1930 from the Logar farm in Logarska valley.

Aleksander Videčnik, an author who has researched folk customs and life in the Upper Savinja valley, relates that, during a visit to King Alexander between the wars, the British King George VI is said to have visited the Logarska valley (part of the Upper Savinja), where the two of them tried ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’. He is said to have liked it so much that he subsequently had it sent to him at the British Court.

Over the years the product has become known as an exclusive speciality of this area, since even today it is still one of the main dishes at major events and weddings and on feast days, and people take it to church at Easter to have it blessed.

The characteristics of the Alpine and pre-Alpine climate are combined in the geographical area of the Upper Savinja valley. The predominant type of climate depends mainly on the altitude. The higher areas have an Alpine climate with an average temperature of less than – 3 °C in the coldest month, whereas the lower-lying areas have a temperate pre-Alpine climate. Fresh mountain air comes into the valley of the Savinja and Dreta from the surrounding mountain plateaus, which means that summers are not unpleasantly hot. Autumn is cool, as is spring, while there is usually a long, cold winter. Within these general climatic conditions, local microclimates are also found (e.g. sunny or shady areas or closed valleys).

The main particularity of this area is that the wide temperature differences between sunny and shady areas and highland and lowland areas create local air currents which allow the ‘želodec’ to dry by natural air circulation.

The Upper Savinja valley has a unique microclimate, numerous spruce forests, high surrounding hills and an exceptionally high volume of water in its rivers and streams. As well as the microclimate of the area as a whole, the microclimate of the areas where drying takes place is also exceptionally important for the drying and maturation of ‘želodec’.

Sprucewood, stone and brick are the main materials used in building the drying compartments of the huts in which ‘želodci’ are dried.

These comprehensive specific conditions have a significant impact on the drying and maturation of ‘želodci’ and on their taste and aroma.

In addition to the favourable natural conditions, the quality of ‘želodci’ is due in part to people, who have developed a specific technique for preparing, shaping and drying ‘želodci’ in the production area. ‘Želodci’ are still produced using procedures that respect tradition, and when technological improvements are introduced, the typical shape and sensory properties of the ‘želodci’ do not change. The environment, the smells of spruce forests, together with the climate and the human factor, which includes experience and specific technical and practical knowledge, are essential to the preparation of ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodci’.

4.7.   Inspection body:


Bureau Veritas, d.o.o.


Linhartova 49a

SI-1000 Ljubljana



+386 14757670


+386 14747602


4.8.   Labelling:

Certified products are labelled with the name ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’, the statement ‘protected geographical indication’, the corresponding Community symbol, the national quality symbol and the logo for ‘Zgornjesavinjski želodec’. The use of the logo is compulsory for all forms of ‘želodec’ that are marketed.

(1)  OJ L 93, 31.3.2006, p. 12.