Salami, Salumi, Salame – they all sound similar but refer to specific delicacies. Salumi is the equivalent of “Charcuterie” and refers to the Italian art of transforming and preserving meats, often through "curing". Salumi includes all the chubs, cooked ham, cured hams, and slicing salami that you can think of. They can be divided into three broad categories: whole muscle salumi, salami, & cooked specialities.
Salami is part of the salumi family, but not all salumi is salami. Got it? Salami is the plural of Salame, and refers to meat that is ground, seasoned, stuffed in a casing, and left to cure. The curing can be controlled with the use of chemical additives, or simply nudged along with natural additions such as celery salt. In the case of the latter, the salami is said to be “Uncured”, and contains no added nitrates or nitrites. The salami can be small – “chubs” – or large.
Salame Milano (Milano Salami) is an exquisite salami which is made in the Milan area of northern Italy. Their origins began in the last century when in Milan the usage of a new machine called Finimondo was allowed to create a new type of salami.
Today the Milano Salami is the best sold and most used in Italy, it is in fact Italy’s favourite salami. Only the best lean and fat Italian pork is used. The meat is ground to the size of a grain of rice, seasoned with salt, garlic, broken black peppercorns and ground white pepper. The maturing process is one of the longest and it varies from 3 to 9 weeks, depending on the diameter of the salami, in order to achieve a good consistency of the fat and lean parts. The most remarkable characteristic of Milano salami is that it has such a sweet and delicate taste. Slices are a light ruby red colour with a well-defined harmonious aroma and mild delicate flavour. It is gluten-free and therefore bears the crossed-out ear of the wheat symbol. It does not contain milk or milk derivatives.
Salame Napoli (Napoli Salami) is Italy’s finest spicy sausage from the Campania region of southern Italy and has been made since the end of the seventeenth century. It has a long tradition as ‘special’ food for festivals or to help bear the hard summer work in the fields. Salame Napoli is made of a mixture of fresh Italian pork, black pepper and spices. Well tied, the salami is hanged in special rooms where it is smoked for 7-8 days. Ageing lasts not less than four months. In ancient times, after ageing, it was common to further preserve the salami inside pottery vats (in oil or in lard), under the ashes or among wheat, barley or oat. The outside of the salami is deep red, it has a firm and dense consistency, slightly smoky smell and a mild characteristic, slightly peppery flavour. Slices are an intense red colour.
Source(s): Musco Food & Fondazione Slow Food
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