Traditional Italian Salami questions

Air dried cured Meat Techniques

Traditional Italian Salami questions

Postby Nfurfaro » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:11 pm

Hello all.
I've been doing some research lately, trying to figure out exactly how the old family recipe for salami actually works to preserve the meat.
Without actually giving up the recipe, I can say that the way my family has been making salami since about 1952 is definitely not what you're going to read in book or online about how to make salami!
We've never used a cure(nitrate/nitrite), we don't use a starter-culture and there is no curing period. The pork is zeasoned, ground, stuffed & tied, and then hung in the cantina for about 4 months.
I'm not here to argue about the right way to do things, but only to try to understand this process. Is this still a fermented sausage? The cantina is probably between 4-8°c and 70% rH when the salami is hung... Not a very warm fermentation temp. (We've never checked ph)
I imagine that the bulk of the preservation is due to drying, as the salt is below 3%.
The finished product is phenomenal! Most years see between 1000-1500lbs of fresh pork come through the basement kitchen!
I imagine most people would say to use cure and starter culture, but try telling a bunch old Italians that they need to change "the recipe"! And to be honest, the salami is better than any other I've yet tasted, storebought or otherwise!
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Re: Traditional Italian Salami questions

Postby NCPaul » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:07 pm

Welcome to the forum. :D Sounds like good luck to me, I hope it continues. The sausage may be slightly fermented depending on the bacteria in the cantina. It sounds like they are dried quickly as well. I would have no problem telling a bunch of old Italians that their practice is unsafe. :D
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Re: Traditional Italian Salami questions

Postby wheels » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:55 am

Welcome Nfurfaro

I wouldn't worry about your family's methods. The fact that your all still here proves something!

It's when people try and do the same thing in environments that are not conducive to producing salami that problems occur.

For those of us with less than ideal conditions, or who don't come from a background like yours where it's bred into us, nitrate/nitrite and cultures mean that what's everyday to you is safe for us.

I'd love to read more of your family's exploits with meat as I'm sure others will also.

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Re: Traditional Italian Salami questions

Postby crustyo44 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:08 am

Hi Nfurfaro,
I have made salami and other Italian goodies for many years with my Italian friends. We made them always in May as this is the coldest month and we made all of it without a cure and culture.
It was always a family affair and we all processed about 16 pigs. Lots of work with good friends and I learned a lot.
These families still make salami etc the same way as their grandparents and parents did in the old country.
Since I have shifted to a tropical climate I consider it mandatory to use cure #2 and I am considering the use of a culture.
Keep posting on the forum, I like to hear more of the old fashioned ways of doing things.
Brings bach very fond memories.
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Re: Traditional Italian Salami questions

Postby BriCan » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:15 am

NCPaul wrote: It sounds like they are dried quickly as well.

Depends upon the size (casings) :wink:

I would have no problem telling a bunch of old Italians that their practice is unsafe. :D

This too depends :)

My question to Nfurfaro is the exact salt % that is used as you say
as the salt is below 3%.
But what do I know
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