The dried beef cecina is a nourishment with a great tradition and eventhough is a product very well known, there are endless written references from the start. The word “cecina” comes from latin siccus, which means dry. Already in the IV century before Christ., in the Agricultural Treaty 55 by Lucio Julio Moderato Columela, a friend of Seneca, we can see the description of the manufacturing of the dried beef “cecina” and its processing, which should be done in the last quarter of the moon, especially during the winter solstice.In the XVI century, El lazarillo de Tormes is published, a picaresque novel, where there is also a reference to the dried beef cecina. The dried beef cecina was also present in the discovery of America, since it´s on the list of the supplies taken aboard the caravel Santa María, altogether with other salty meats.

 In the novel from the XVII century, La Pícara Justina, the parents of the main character are the owners of a mesón (old inn) in a village in León, a place where used to be transit for travellers and muleteers, where the cecina was always present at lunch time.In a fable by Samaniego (XVIII Century), we can read about the cecina as a special dish:

"Their senses had there their enjoymentwalls and ceilings decorated among a thousand tempting sweets there were salami sausages, cured hams and dried beef cecinasThey jumped from pure pleasure, wasn´t it great!From one cured ham to another, from one cheese to another"

In Literature in that century, Padre Isla plays an important role. In his book, "Fray Gerundio de Campazas", which takes place in the country side of León, we can also see some references and quotations about the dried beef cecina.

Arturo Pérez Reverte :About the state of effects, goods and fruits consumed in the city of León during the five years which go from 1835 to 1839, in an average year, the dried beef cecina takes a relevant place among all meats.

At that time, the city of León used to eat 24300 pounds of dried beef every year, being the estimated annual rate consumed per each person 3,425 pounds; the going price for a Kilogram in the main square of León was 6,20 reales.

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Recetario de Cecina de León


Consejo Regulador I.G.P. CECINA DE LEÓN | León - España | Tfno. +34 987 615 275

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