The word “salumi” (or its singular “salumi”) seems to appear more frequently on restaurant menus and Instagram feeds, even at some deli counters. You may be wondering exactly what salumi means versus salami or pork.
A little bit about 101:
Salumi is a category of high quality salted pork-based meat, such as salami and prosciutto. Salumi’s definition is subjective and evolving, and producers are pushing old boundaries.
Traditionalists limit the definition of salumi to salted meat made in Italy, but others use the term to describe meat that has been preserved and made in various ways around the world, including cooked. to do.
Emilia Romagna is the best known Italian region for salumi, especially ham, but hardened meat is produced across the country.
Charcuterie is Salumi’s famous French cousin. This is also a variety of hardened meats made primarily from pork.
Salumi was born out of the need to preserve the meat before refrigeration and to use all parts of the pork. There are currently many manufacturers of salumi on the market in supermarkets. (Some great out-of-the-box brands include Olli, Gusto, Coro, Creminelli, Daniele.)
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In the United States, producers and food companies are increasing their salumi games. Northern Waters Smokhaus, Duluth, Minnesota, is the destination for hardened meat used in sandwiches. In Pittsburgh, Salty Pork Bits makes hardened meat that can be shipped nationwide.
“For a long time, the options for salumi in the United States were very limited and then slowly began to import some products from Italy,” says Cesare Casella, an Italian chef and salumi expert. Now, probably in the last five years or so, more producers have sprung up. Other smaller manufacturers have emerged and are experimenting. “
Many people don’t understand that salumi is a hardened product, Casella adds.
“It’s not“ raw ”and doesn’t have to be cooked. Like pickled cucumbers, the fermentation process makes them safe (and tasty) to eat, ”he says.
The world of Salumi is huge. Just some of his greatest hits:
Salami is the type of salami that many of us are most familiar with. In the United States, it is generally believed to be firm in texture, dry cure, sausage-like, and made from beef, and is sold whole or in slices. It’s a huge category, there are many types of salami, and within each variety there are many variations that are influenced by the region.
Salami is mainly made from salted and seasoned minced or minced meat that is wrapped, hung, hardened and dried. There is also cooked salami and soft, hardened salmis. Often times, you will want to remove the casing before consuming salami.
Sopressata is a dry cured pork salami that uses almost all parts of the pig. Its shape is long, slightly flat, and usually has some kicks of pepper, peppercorns, and other spices. It can be cut thick or thin.
Mortadella is a pink, smooth, slightly hardened and cooked salami that is made all over Italy. It is flavored with a variety of spices, and it may also contain pistachios. It is usually served in thin slices.
Nduja (en-DOO-ya) comes from the Calabrian region of Italy and is unique in that it is a meat that can be hot coated with paprika. Often served with a knife applied to bread as a starter or snack.
Cured meats with whole skeletal muscles: including prosciutto, specs, guanciale
Many of these types of salumi are dry-cured with salt, spices and wine. They are made up of all of the animal muscle and are not crushed or combined. This salumi is usually eaten as an ingredient in other dishes, thinly sliced, and uncooked (although it can be cooked).
In the most perfect world, you buy these varieties of salumi from high-volume stores to cut and order, but you can also find packages near grocery stores, often high-end cheese counters and deli counters. can do.
Perhaps the best known is prosciutto, which is a whole category in itself. And the most common type of prosciutto is the whole pork leg, matured in a cool, dark room for at least 400 days. Usually sold in thin slices like paper, prosciutto has a salty and funky taste, silky texture, and delicate texture.
The Italian or Italian style spots are a bit similar to Prosciutto, but a little more lively, with spice and smoky and a little denser. You can eat it as is or use it in a recipe.
Pancetta is essentially Italian bacon, a hardened version of pork belly that is sometimes sold in cylinders, sliced, or cubed. It can be eaten as it is, but it’s often sautéed and used in a variety of dishes, from steamed dishes to pasta sauces and salads.
Guanciale is made from bay leaves, pepper and pork cheeks with a juniper flavor. It’s also usually sold in rolls and slices, and is mostly used in pasta sauces such as carbonara and amatriciana.
Coppa or Capicola comes from the shoulder of the pig and is seasoned differently all over Italy. It is usually very fragrant – often made of wine and bright red, with a smooth texture and the best fat.
What is the best way to get to know the wide world of Salumi? Taste it!
If you have a gourmet or Italian market nearby, head to the deli counter and try the food samples. Remember, a quarter of a pound can be bought for many different things. Keep the salumi in the refrigerator, but keep it cool to room temperature (in the 60 ° F range) for the best dining experience.
Casella believes we should all eat more salumi.
Katie Workman is a regular contributor to Associated Press groceries. She has written two cookbooks, “Dinner Solved!”, With a focus on family-friendly cooking. And “The Mom 100 Cookbook”. She blogs at http://www.themom100.com/about-katie-workman..She can be reached at Katie@themom100.com.
Copyright 2021 AP Communication. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.
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