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How to recognize an artisanal salami

Artisanal is better, spicy is only for a few, traditional and with a glass of red it becomes the business card for any person from Bergamo, let's discover together 3 ways to recognize an artisanal salami.

A quality local salami

Recognizing a quality local salami is not at all simple. After all, one of the most famous cured meats in the Bel Paese is made with very few ingredients: pork meat and fat, salt, spices. However, each producer chooses to add a personal touch ranging from the secret ingredient to the preference for one cut of meat over another.

Therefore, to recognize a quality local salami you need to refine the technique and collect some information:

  • The best meat for the production of the sausage, regardless of the preferred cut, comes from a pig at least 8 months old and weighing approximately 160 kg. This way there will be an excellent balance between fat and meat.
  • Be wary of overly fragrant spices, as they accentuate and sometimes distort the flavour. When it comes to salami, you need to be daring, yes, but up to a certain point.
  • Pay attention to the label! The same attention to be paid to meat is also used in cured meats. If the words "powdered milk and derivatives" are present, it means that enhancers have been used to accelerate maturation and increase weight.

And when does it arrive on the table?

  • The salami pulp must be bright red and compact to the eye. Flavorful at the right point and not excessively salty.
  • The scent? It must remind you of a cellar: intense and not acidic, obviously spices permitting!
  • The casing must come off easily without too much difficulty. The color must be gray and slightly green.

Artisan salami can be eaten with everything: the perfect combo? Salami and polenta, perfect in winter when it's cold outside and the polenta is steaming on the table. Ideal in summer when a slice of salami and - if you want to overdo it - also a slice of cheese are added to the grilled polenta, the rib . But what goodness! Well, very little is needed for polenta. Salami and taleggio , on the other hand, are good to know how to choose. Carne Genuina offers healthy, genuine products in perfect traditional style. Test yourself and enjoy them!

Local or artisanal salami: a question of technique

What differentiates a noteworthy local salami from a poor one is dictated by the production cycle and the long wait for the maturing phase. The list of ingredients is very short: a well-defined percentage of spices, salt and other natural flavors such as black pepper are added to the minced pork meat and fat.

The mixture is inserted into the casing which can be natural - i.e. obtained from the animal's intestine, or artificial - obtained from intestine waste combined with collagen of plant origin. Finally, the third and final phase consists in maturing the product which, after being tied, is hung in special rooms, possibly dark, to ensure that it dries and optimizes the flavour.

The cut of meat from which the meat to be minced for salami is obtained comes from the shoulder, coppa or thigh and can be minced into large or small grains, so the differences begin to emerge!

Salami: a question of preservatives

Salami belongs to the category of cured meats that require, albeit in small quantities, the presence of preservatives as they allow the organoleptic properties of the product to be maintained. Most producers, especially those involved in artisanal production, choose to reduce the quantities required by law to a minimum, and eliminate the use of the preserved foods defined as most harmful to human health: E249 - potassium nitrite, E250 - sodium nitrite and E252 - potassium nitrate.

Salami and spices: love and hate

There are an infinite variety of salamis on the market: walnuts, olives, mushrooms, pistachio and fennel. These are just some types of cured meats, some combinations are truly astonishing, while others have now been cleared through customs and entered on equal footing between - almost - normal.

Genuine meat chooses to remain anchored to tradition and offer local salami created following the strict rules of peasant tradition. The choice expands thanks to the multitude of products that reflect tradition, so in the shop, where in addition to cured meats and sausages you can buy meat boxes online, you can find: salami , sausages , cotechini and many other products combined with particular recipes they contribute to making the table rich in flavor and genuine foods.

The history of cured meats

Salami is made from cuts of pork meat. The pig is an animal that, together with pets, represents the domestic species most adored by man, now we have one more reason!

In prehistory, pigs were raised with the sole aim of satisfying the need to feed the family and sometimes the entire village. During the Etruscan era, the first stable farms began to appear - as we know them today - which deal exclusively with the processing and slaughter of pork, with the aim of selling and trading. Among the first testimonies is the city of Mantua where bone finds also belonging to pigs were found and from subsequent tests, it turned out that they were about three years old and had no thighs: this is where the meaning of cured meat comes from!

Between the 12th and 17th centuries, the processing of pork underwent refinement and recorded an exponential increase, giving rise to the figure of the pork butcher. In the same historical period, guilds of the delicatessen trade were born and multiplied, and it was above all what we now know as central Italy that saw the greatest development.

The workmanship of the time is the same as that used today by the masters of the sector who choose to rely on tradition and techniques that have been handed down for many years. Exactly for this reason it is said that the act of creating cured meats is a noble art. Now it's time to sit at the table, cut a slice of bread and open the tasting box ordered for the occasion!