What makes hard salami hard?

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What makes hard salami hard?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:01 pm

Okay, it might be a dumb question, but I haven't been able to find a good answer anywhere so... What makes hard salami hard?

I made 3 different styles on the same day: Lucchese, Genoa, and Hard.
The only thing different besides spices is:
1) Hard is part beef (or in this case venison), while the others are purely pork.
2) Hard had corn syrup solids.

But after only a couple of weeks the hard was noticeably firmer than the others.

Searching online people say that the difference is that Hard is smoked, but not the recipe I have. They also say it's dried longer to be hard. But these were all made on the same day.

I have to believe it's one of those 2 differences that makes it firm up so much faster. If I had to guess I'd say it has to do with how beef dries compared to pork and the muscle fibers getting tougher or something.

Anybody with more experience care to offer their best guess? (And no, they're not ready yet so I can't send samples for a more thorough examination :wink: )
Pigs are magical creatures.... they turn vegetables into BACON!!
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Re: What makes hard salami hard?

Postby NCPaul » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:52 pm

You might want to study the amount of free or unbound water vs. bound water in beef. Water activity is perhaps a better way of thinking (or searching). There is a lot of structure in sausage even though everything has been ground up. :D
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Re: What makes hard salami hard?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:51 pm

Okay, I didn't think the corn syrup solids could do it since they appear to just be a source of sugar. But my eyes kinda glazed over as I was reading the meat science in Marianski a few years back so I'll go back and read that again.

So this would imply that any dried sausage that you add beef to is going to end up firmer sooner than an identical pure pork version?
Pigs are magical creatures.... they turn vegetables into BACON!!
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Re: What makes hard salami hard?

Postby NCPaul » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:32 pm

Look and see how many of the Marianskis' fermented sausage recipes (in the green book) include at least some beef. That being said, the four I'm making this year don't have any beef; I am planning to dry them to the 35-40 % weight loss range however.
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Re: What makes hard salami hard?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:39 pm

I'll readily admit I'm not a dry sausage connoisseur to be able to spot the subtle variations, I just know I like them. :-D
But I might be inclined in the future to modify some recipes to add some beef simply to shorten the time to a firm product and increase the yield ;-) I've never been a purist that needs to follow the recipe exactly, I prefer to experiment to a certain degree (being careful to always put safety ahead of my recklessness).
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