This past weekend we hosted a weekend workshop on Orange Grove, ‘Charcuterie’ by chef Gordon Wright. Food has always been my passion and the art of Charcuterie has long since fascinated me. We are privileged to have some of the best quality meat in the world, right here on our farm…so it just makes sense to want to try and make use of it in every possible way. Our monthly Farmers Market is the perfect outlet for these Artisinal products. Ontop of the mountain Gordon shot an old Blesbok ewe with field guide Gideon.
Salami & making Fermented Sausage
Salami is mostly made from pork. Salumi include bresaola, which is made from beef, and also cooked products such as mortadella and prosciutto cotto. Salami is a specific type of salumi.
The word salumi comes from the Italian word salume, “salted meat”, derived from Latin sal “salt”. Fermented sausages are created by salting chopped, ground meat to remove moisture, while allowing beneficial bacteria to break down sugars to develop a flavorful product. Bacteria break down these sugars to produce lactic acid, which not only affects the flavor of the sausage, but also lowers the pH from 6.0 to 4.5-5.0, preventing the growth of bacteria that could spoil the sausage. The salt and acidity are concentrated as the salami dries.
The ingredients found in a fermented sausage include meat, fat, bacterial culture, salt, spices, sugar and nitrite. Nitrite is added to fermented sausages to prevent the formation of harmful bacteria, botulism. Sugar is added to aid the bacterial production of lactic acid during the 18-hour to three-day fermentation process; the fermentation time depends on the temperature at which the sausage is stored: the lower the temperature, the longer the required fermentation period. A white mold and yeast adheres to the outside of the sausage during the drying process. This mold adds to the flavor of the sausage and aids in preventing harmful bacteria from attaching to the sausage.
Prosciutto di Parma is a simple product, It’s nothing but pork, sea salt, air, and time.
I think the comments, but mostly the pictures tell a story. The workshop was inspiring and everyone left with a renewed passion for this lost art of preserving and curing meat. Thank you Gordon Wright!