Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Salame di Mugnano
This salame comes from the town of Mugnano which is right outside of Naples in Campania. Jason did a post on it in January, so, I won't get too in depth. Which leads to my next point. This salame was a collaboration of sorts. As Jason was describing it, I became intrigued.................hot pepper, cold smoke, I'm in. So, we devised a recipe to follow to see how the same salame prepared by two different people would differ in appearance and flavor. There were several differences in our recipes. As usual, I went overboard on peperoncino powder AND black pepper. I actually used twice the amount that Jason used. My black pepper content was 1.5%, while I think Jason's was somewhere near .4%, so WAYYY more. The other difference was the fat component. I used fatback versus pork belly for Jason. Everything else used was the same, although I'm pretty positive my salt % is higher. I used F-LC starter along with .5% dextrose. I stuffed this into hog middles, which is a new casing for me, just recently acquired. These hog middles look great, very authentic, they also dry perfectly and evenly, a delight to use. Although, their diameter is slightly larger and they take quite a bit longer to dry. I fermented for about 80 hours at 70 degrees. They were then cold smoked for 12 hours. This was a difficult salame for me to try and reproduce. I had no point of reference as I've never eaten it before, all I had to go on was Jason's description of it. With that, I certainly didn't want to oversmoke it, so, I only went with one smoke session. I then hung them in my chamber at 53 degrees and 78% humidity. A seemingly endless 11 weeks later, it was pulled down and sliced. The result is what you see above, looks awesome......I think, anyway. It tastes as amazing as it looks. It is rather spicy, which is right up my alley as you may have read here prior. Still, what's amazing about this peperoncino powder is that it provides not only heat, but a wonderful pepper flavor and seldom overwhelms as the meat flavor is totally apparent. I can't speak on it's authenticity, again, I've never eaten it, but, I CAN say it's great, nevertheless and certainly worth making. I may make this my default salame. Thanks to Angelo again for taking the lovely photo.