Pastirma is salted and dried beef from mature animals. The complete production process for pastirma requires several weeks. The meat is mostly taken from the hindquarters and is cut into 50 to 60 cm long strips with a diameter of not more than 5 cm. The strips are rubbed and covered with salt. Several incisions are made in the meat to facilitate salt penetration. The salted meat strips are arranged in piles about 1 m high, repeatedly repiled and kept for two days. Thereafter the meat strips are washed and air-dried for two to three days in summer and for 15 to 20 days in winter. After drying the strips are piled up again to a height of 30 cm and pressed with heavy weights for 12 hours. After another drying period of two to three days the meat pieces are again pressed for 12 hours. Finally the meat is again air-dried for 5 to 10 days. After the salting and drying process, the entire surface of the meat is covered with a 3 to 5 mm thick layer of a paste called cemen. Cemen consists of 35% freshly ground garlic, 20% helba (i.e. ground trefoil seed), 6% hot red paprika, 2% ground mustard seds, and 37% water. Helba is used as a binder of the paste; the other ingredients are spices. Garlic is the most important ingredient as it has antimycotic properties. The meat strips covered with cemen are stored in piles for one day, and thereafter dried for 5 to 12 days in a room with good air ventilation. Now the pastirma is ready for sale. The final product has an average water activity (aw) of 0.88. The aw-value should not fall below 0.85 or the meat will be too dry. The average salt content is 4.5 and should not exceed 6.0 percent. The product stays mould-free for months at ambient temperature even in summer.