As I wrote in a previous post, zalatina, as it is called in Cyprus, which is probably derived from the word gelatin, was usually made with pork’s head, ears and feet. My mother would make zalatina often but as we did not eat meat from the head she would add some lean meat especially for us. The head, feet and tail would be cleaned and any hair on them would be scorched and shaved if necessary. All these were boiled with spices until tender and then citrus juice and vinegar, salt and some hot red peppers and rosemary were also added.
The recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!
After cooking they would remove all the meat from the head and would put it in earthen pots together with the broth, which would form into a jelly because of the pectin created from the animal parts and from the citrus and a thick layer of lard would form on top, thus sealing it airtight and thus preserved for a long time.
The Greek version of zalatina is called pichti (πηχτή) and is made in a similar way, with the addition of vegetables, and different herbs and spices. Pichti is derived from the verb Πήζω (pizo), which means to set, and the word pectin comes from this word.