Cacholeira is a popular Portuguese fermented sausage from the Upper Alentejo region. 

The sausage is heavily fermented. It resembles a morcella but has a lighter colour because pig’s liver is used as the binding ingredient rather than blood. It is often characterised though as a blood sausage.

The main ingredients are pieces of pig offal such as spleen, kidney, bacon and various spices. It is used as a complementary dish in the Portuguese savoury delicacy cozido alentejano

Fermentation Microorganisms

The microorganisms are a complex range of bacteria – mostly lactic acid bacteria, coagulase negative cocci, enterococci and eumycetes. This is similar to other fermented sausages. The major strains are the following:-  Lactobacillus sakei.  CarnobacteriumEnterococcusKluyvera, Lactococcus and Serratia were found as minor genera. Moulds are also part of this mix and depend on when the sausage is being fermented. They include various yeasts such as  Starmerella apicolaDebaryomyces  hansenii  and Candida tropicalis. In some cases one yeast may dominate over an another such as D. hansenii. Other moulds found include Aspergillus spp.,   Kurtzmaniella zeylanoidesSaccharomyces cerevisiaeKurtzmaniella santamariaeBrettanomyces bruxellensis and Pichia kluyveri but to a smaller extent.

The Volatiles of Cacholeira

One study found 72 volatile compounds present in this sausage and they include esters, phenols, terpenoids, acids, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, lactones, furans, sulphur and nitrogen compounds.

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