Although the exact origin is unknown there is evidence that a fermented
sausage was made in the Mediterranean region more than 2000 years
ago and became he preferred method of preserving meat for the Romans
word Salami comes from the Italian "salare" meaning to
salt. The Roman Legionnaires were often paid with salt, hence the
word salary which also comes from "salare". They then
used the salt to make salami. Originally salami was just made from
pork but more recently other meats including beef have been used.
salami is fermented it has many natural health benefits, for example,
it contains lactic acid bacteria which can help maintain a healthy
eat salami and other cured meats?
The consumption of salami is increasing in Italy. In 2001, the annual
quantity consumed per inhabitant was an impressive 18.5kg so we
have a bit of catching up to do! There are several reasons for this:
nutritional properties the recognition that salami
has good nutritional properties with a high concentration of noble
value for money salami is comparatively cheaper than
other meat products;
convenience it is also a convenient product providing
a quick and easy way (all you have to do is slice it!) to prepare
a healthy and appetising lunchtime snack or evening meal;
long-lasting as it is cured, it keeps well in the
fridge (see how).
to store the salami?
Salami is a cured meat product and keeps for months don't
forget these products came about because years ago this was the
only way to preserve meat there were no fridges. As a consequence,
it can keep for months.
best way to conserve whole salami and other cured meats is to keep
them hanging in a fresh and ventilated place (about 10-15°C)
where they will continue to mature. If that's not possible, put
them in the fridge in the compartment reserved for fruit and vegetables.
Generally, the best way to taste salami is to eat it as soon as
it's cut. The salami should then immediately be tightly covered
with plastic wrap around the cut surface it will help to
put an elastic band around the wrap to keep it stretched and avoid
the air from entering underneath and put in the fridge. Once
started, if you notice that the cut end-piece of the salami has
discoloured, don't worry this is simply due to slight oxidation
as the air has got to it. The salt may also have started to crystallize
on the end surface which may alter the taste slightly. You will
see that it is just this end-piece that is affected and the rest
of the salami is absolutely fine.
you have uneaten slices remaining, they should be kept in an air-tight
sealed box in the fridge to help the salami keep its organoleptic
characteristics for as long as possible.
the skin of the salami develops marks or discoloration on the skin,
again don't worry it is completely natural. If you wish, y ou can
use a slightly damp cloth to gently rub the marks away but it really
is salami preserved?
To preserve meat, the undesirable microorganisms on the meat surfaces
that cause spoilage must be inactivated and destroyed. One of the
most effective means of accomplishing this is by introducing salt
into the meat. The hotter and more humid the climate, the more difficult
it is to preserve meats by salting. Naturally, the climatic conditions
have meant that such products are traditionally strongly flavoured
with plenty of salt, garlic, peperoncino, black pepper, or wild
fennel, flavourings so assertive, that in the past they masked successfully
the taste of meats gone off in the heat. Today, of course, such
products are made under hygienic and temperature-controlled conditions
and the robust and assertive flavourings are used out of choice
to skin salami?
First slice off the tip of the salami. With a sharp knife, score
a line around the salami in this way you will then be able
to easily peel the skin away. You should only remove enough skin
sufficient to slice the quantity of salami you require. Do not remove
the skin of the entire salami unless you intend to slice it all
and consume it all at once. Without the skin, the salami won't last,
even in the fridge.
to cut salami?
Salami and other cured meats are usually always best cut in fine
slices (1-2mm) so that they almost melt in the mouth rather
than being overly chewy. You will also have a better balance of
flavour in this way. Slice by hand with a sharp knife (preferably
a long, large blade) or I find it is better with a meat slicing
machine ( I have a cheap Kenwood machine which works pretty well!)
Exceptions are the more fresh and softer salamis such as Finocchiona
(fennel-flavoured salami), Goose Salami, Truffle Salami these
are best cut in thicker slices (3-4mm) or diced and served with
to use salami?
That's the wonderful thing about salami it can be used in
so many different ways. Suggestions are given on individual product
detail pages, but here are some ideas:
A selection platter of cured meats, say four to five different
types (mix of salami, prosciutto and other) makes a great starter.
Slice and arrange the meats on a large platter to make an attractive
Serve salami with vegetables or rice for a main course.
Chop and add to salads, omelettes, pasta dishes.
Serve on bread with some cheese or plum tomatoes for a delicious