Whether you are bedecking a charcuterie board or just looking to jazz up your brown bag lunch for work, salami is an interesting and versatile deli staple. Not only is salami tasty, but it also keeps well even when not refrigerated for short periods and comes in lots of varieties to suit every palate. Let’s take a look at this deli favorite and learn more about it.
What Is Salami?
Salami is more than just a deli meat; it is literally a culinary art. Salami is part of the Italian salumi family. This refers to the art of Italian meats. Salami, in particular, refers to the fresh, cooked, and/or cured types of meat. Salami can be created from pork, but also from other types of meat, including beef. It is widely believed that Salami was invented in Italy, maybe even as far back as ancient Rome. There are records of beef salami showing up in Roman cookbooks in ancient times.
How Is Salami Made?
The first step is to carefully select the cut of pork that will be used. The meat is then ground up thoroughly. Next, salt and other flavorings are added. Then, the mixture is stuffed into a meat casing. This casing is often made of pork intestines. The casing is then hung up to dry-cure. This is when the fermenting process begins for this cured meat.
What Is Dry-Curing?
During dry-curing, the meat is left to the chemical actions of salt and bacteria. The salt will pull out the moisture leaving the good bacteria to grow and cure the meat. This is a time-consuming process that must be monitored carefully. Temps and humidity levels must be kept very precise to ensure that the meat does not spoil.
Other Types of Curing
There are other types of curing, which are mostly done by adding salt and chemicals. During commercial curing, salami can be completed much more quickly. The chemical often used is nitrates, but there are some health concerns about nitrate additives. If you are concerned about extra additives in your food, you should read the labels very carefully to ensure you are not buying this type of product.
Is Salami Nutritious?
Salami is not considered the leanest or most healthy type of meat. The high fat and sodium content would not make this the type of protein you would eat on a daily basis to meet protein requirements.
For those who are intentionally cutting carbs, though, or working on a keto-type diet, salami is a great way to add extra flavor to salads, wraps, and other dishes.
One of the things that should definitely be taken into consideration when consuming salami would be the high sodium content. This must be balanced with plenty of fluid and healthy vegetables.
Categorised in: Deli Meats
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