My Petard's Been Hoisted!

I was in 'two minds' whether to write my last post about the Genoa Salami, particularly as it was the 'trial run' for the new drying fridge set-up. However, given that things were going so well, I decided to.

The offending salamiIt seems that my optimism was premature, as when the sausage had lost about 37% of it's initial weight in only 18 days, I cut it and found that my worst fears had been realised - the outside of the meat had hardened leaving the inside somewhat soft.

Worse than that, and a cardinal sin for someone who advises others on curing and sausage making, I had 'smeared' the fat. Instead of it being in nice separate pieces it's all mixed up with the meat. This not only affects the looks of the finished product, but also interferes with the drying of the sausage; the fat fills the tiny gaps between the meat making the movement of moisture from the inside of the salami more difficult. Oh well, it'll do for pizza toppings - if the piece I've just eaten doesn't kill me first!

The smearing of the fat is totally my fault; it's an error that I just shouldn't have made. The case hardening though is just one of those things. For the 'enthusiastic amateur' without the resources of a commercial producer, setting up a new system is inevitably a case of trial and error. Next time, rather than use the large fan fitted in my fridge continuously during the fermentation stage, I will use the smaller one intermittently. In mitigation though, I believe that the humidity recommendations in the recipe are too low, not least at the start of the drying period.

Having said all this, am I being to hard on myself? Making allowances for the poor photograph above, the finished article looks not too dissimilar to the one on the original recipe.

Maybe I should have played safe and just written about the bacon, ham and sausage that I made at the same time as this salami - they were all superb!

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