Monday, April 20, 2009

Salame out, guanciali in

Removed a salame today. This one was made with Sicilan dried oregano, lemon zest, cardamom, and vermouth. Unfortunately, the cardamom was a bit cloying. It overwhelmed that lovely wild Sicilian oregano(wasn't cheap either). Oh well, the flavor profile seemed pretty good. Next time, more oregano, less cardamom for sure. The lemon zest and vermouth were proportioned correctly, I believe, maybe a touch more zest. The picture is of a 43mm collagen cased salame.

The 2 guanciali were removed after their 1 week bath in the aforementioned cure mixture. I removed them, but decided against rinsing them. I have done it both ways(rinsing and not rinsing) and found that not rinsing them created more flavor. I will remove all the bay leaves and wipe off their surfaces. They will be put on a rack in the regular refrigerator for 3 weeks or so. I've hung guanciali in both my chamber and the regular refrigerator and found that the regular refrigrator provided better results, especially as far as the texture of the meat is concerned. Picture of the racked guanciali to follow.


  1. Looks like a promising new blog! Can you tell us a little more about the differences you found between the guanciali drying in the curing chamber and in the regular fridge? Do you think the dryer air in the regular fridge is what gives it a better texture?

  2. I had 2 guanciali in my drying chamber with a bunch of other salumi. With the humidity so high and the jowl being pretty thin, I felt it looked and felt rather sloppy(a bit soggy perhaps). Never really firmed up the way the first guanciale did dried in the regular refrigerator. So, I guess the answer is yes, I think the drier air actually contributed to a better(subjective)texture. Jason Molinari disusses this point in his blog. Also, my first guanciale no curing salt was used as it was used in the second batch. This go around I used cure #2 and am drying exclusively in the refrigerator. If these come out the same as the the last batch, I will then remove cure #2. Thank you for the compliment.