Sunday, January 23, 2011

Salame Gentile

If one were to translate Salame Gentile into English, it would be "Gentle Salame", but the direct translation is meaningless. The name derives from the use of the hog bung as the casing. In Italian the hog bung is called the "budello genile". A hog bung is the last piece of the intestine in the pig, and it has very thick walls and a lot of fat within the membrane layers. The hog bung being so thick and fatty keeps the salame very soft and allows for a long drying time without over hardening, often up to and over 90 days, which for a salame of this diameter (80mm or so) is a long time. It's also supposed to give the salame a particular flavor.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Salam d'la Duja

I enjoy researching and making salami that are sort of obscure, maybe not to the region they're from in Italy, but certainly here in the US. This one qualifies as one for sure.

Piemonte is a region that is close to my heart in that that's where my Italian side of the family is from; my Dad, Nonna, Nonno, and Zii.  I like finding cured meats from that area as a way to stay connected to my family. This salume is from the eastern area of Piemonte.

Salam d'la Duja was born out of the necessity to cure meats in an area where the humidity is generally too high, not allowing for proper drying and preservation. Because of the high humidity the salami are dried for just a short while and then buried in liquid lard inside a clay pot, called a Duja. They're kept here for anywhere from 3 months to a year. They stay soft and age in the lard becoming spicier as they age. I've actually never eaten one in Italy, I can't explain why not, so I'll really have no idea how mine compares to the real stuff.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Nasone and Cotechino Tasting

I'm a week late for the traditional Italian new years sausage, cotechino, but no big deal. Had some friends over for our 8th annual cotechino party and of course had to serve the Nasone too!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Salame di Capra - Goat Salame Tasting Notes

The goat salame is ready! They smell amazing. I'm very pleased with how they turned out.

Take a look below for more details on how they tasted.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Salame di Mugnano

While I was back in Italy this past September I ate all kinds of great cured meats. The variety of different salami available is really mind boggling. I was at a standard grocery store near home, and picked up a couple different ones, including a Salame di Mugnano. One I hadn't had before. It had a fantastic smell, with a hint of smokiness. Upon eating it it was rich, and lightly smoked with just a little hint of heat.
As soon as I got home I started researching this particular salame. It was actually relatively easy finding out about it; a lean, large grain salame that's lightly smoked from Mugnano del Cardinale in Campania. Much harder was actually finding any information on the formula that might be used to make it. So I made up my own. This, I'm sure, is the first of many tries to get this right.