At Salumi Australia we were recently privileged to have a member of ‘salumi royalty’ visit our production facility in the Northern Rivers all the way from his home of Parma in Italy. Giuliano Ronchei, who has been a ‘Salumiere’ or salumi producer in Parma Italy for an incredible 45 years and a specialist in the industry for two decades, knows a thing or two about salumi production. He travelled to Australia last month to meet our team for a two-week intensive review of how we use the traditional curing and fermentation techniques our Italian ancestors developed centuries ago in our Australian made salumi range.
A large part of Guiliano’s visit to Salumi Australia HQ was to look closely at our curing, drying an ageing processes and to advise the team about the ever evolving salumi making methods happening in Parma and throughout northern Italy. The Parma region of northern Italy is well known for its sausage or cold cut production and of course for the famous Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Giuliano shared with us some unique tips for growing mould on our salumi throughout the ageing process. The mould, a natural and essential component in the development of salumi, begins to grow during the drying period, then further develops in our ageing room environment. It acts as a natural barrier to protect the salumi from any competing bacteria growth during the maturation process. This mould begins as a white mould, as the product ages a blue/grey colour mould blooms naturally. According to Giuliano, only the smaller, more boutique salumi producers have been able to achieve a light blue/grey mould on their salumi products.
Asides from his work as a salumi maker and consultant, Giuliano has another business that specialises in the restoration of antique Berkel meat slicers, which have been used to slice prosciutto and other salumi cold cuts since the 1890s. The historic machines involved a handwheel that, when turned, set in motion a movable table sled, which slid towards a sharp, convex, rotating blade for slicing the meats more precisely and faster than ever before. The slicers are works of art. Take a look here: https://officinadeiricordi.it/en/the-art-of-restoration/
It was an honour to have Giuliano Ronchei, a member of Italy’s salumi royalty, visit the Salumi Australia team to guide us on the ancient skill of the Salumiere.