Whole Muscle Salumi Explained
When we talk about whole muscle salumi we are referring to cuts of meat that are gently cured and aged in their entirety. Unlike a fermented salami of minced meat mixed with natural fat and seasonings that is then aged in a casing, whole muscle salumi is typically a whole cut of pork or beef that is gently cured, seasoned and then dry aged. Don’t be concerned about the term ‘whole muscle’ as the cuts of meat we use in our whole muscle salumi all have enough delicious fat attached to keep them from drying out, while our traditional slow food methods impart intense flavour.
At Salumi Australia we produce four different types of whole muscle salumi.
We use whole muscle pork cheek in our Guanciale. We believe it is the tastiest of pork cuts. The cheeks are first cured with salt and black pepper before being aged. Guanciale has a high fat content which makes it ideal for cooking. You need to remove the rind before chopping the Guanciale for Pasta alla Carbonara or thinly slicing for Bruschetta.
We use whole muscle pork loin in our Lonza. It is seasoned and cured with peppercorn and juniper berry before gently ageing. Lonza is similar in both taste and texture to Prosciutto. You first need to remove the natural casing from the Lonza and slice it as thinly as possible (1mm) to serve with other salumi meats, cheese and bread at the beginning of a meal.
We use delicious whole muscle pork belly in our two Pancetta varieties. Our semi-aged, cold smoked Pancetta Affumicata is best prepared sliced or diced, whilst cold. In cooking, it makes an excellent substitute for bacon, as it has a pronounced salty flavour and a generous fat-to-meat ratio. Slices or cubes can be rendered down to yield a porky, salty base for pasta sauces and stews.
We dust whole muscle pork belly with black pepper before curing and ageing to produce our Pancetta Stesa Pepata. The pepper gives the Pancetta a distinct dark crust. Pancetta should be sliced very thinly while cold for wrapping around foods such as Satimbocca for flavour and appearance. Pancetta can also be used as the base for dishes such as pasta all‘amatriciana.
At Salumi Australia we produce whole muscle salumi as well as salami. Both have different culinary uses and flavours, but both are essential to the tradition and culture of Italian salumi.