Friday, November 4, 2011
Just a short 7 and a half months after I put it in to cure, it's ready. Typically, culatelli cure for a longer period of time. However, this felt pretty firm after the aforementioned time. Prompted by Jason to cut it open, I went for it. I was more than a little surprised, a bit dismayed, even. It was really firm, too firm. It was so lean, it overdried. Shame on me for not weighing it and tracking it's weight loss. I assumed that I would just remove it at it's 10 month birthday. I guess I won't be making that mistake again. It tastes just fine, quite mild and salty. It's just so excrutiatingly lean and very dry. Nowhere near the texture of culatelli I've tried int the past. So, somewhat disappointed by my ineptitude, I just left it in the chamber, slicing a bunch off to eat from time to time. Fast forward a month, and about midway through the culatello, it transformed. It became something better and exciting. It softened greatly and intensified in color and took on the appearance of a real culatello. I'm not going to sit here and tell you I had something to do with it, the middle just has a larger circumference. It is a completely different animal from the culatello into which I cut initially. While still a lean piece of meat, it does appear to have a bit more fat in the section pictured. So, it would seem a successful project. Definitely worthy of another go, no more commercial practice meat. I'll see if I can get my hands on a Mangalitsa leg.