What is Exotic Meat Salami?
Our Exotic Salamis are made in old traditional way. Exotic meats are seasoned and stuffed into a casing — which is not “cooked” but is instead allowed to ferment and cure before being dried and made edible. Our Exotic Salami can be eaten cold in slices.
Historically, salami has been popular among Southern European peasants because it can be stored at room temperature for periods of up to 10 years, supplementing a possibly meager or inconsistent supply of fresh meat. Varieties of salami are traditionally made in Italy, France, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.
Though completely uncooked, salami are not "raw" per se; they have been prepared via curing. The term salame cotto refers to salami cooked or smoked before or after curing and it is typical of Piedmont region in Italy. This is done to impart a specific flavor but not to cook the meat. Before curing, a cotto salame is still considered raw and is not ready to be eaten.
Salami are cured in warm, humid conditions to encourage growth of the bacteria involved in the fermentation process. Sugars (usually dextrose) are added as a food source for the bacteria during the curing process, although it tends not to be added to horse meat because of the latter's naturally high levels of glycogen. Lactic acid is produced by the bacteria as a waste product, lowering the pH and coagulating and lowering the water-holding capacity of the meat. The acid produced by the bacteria makes the meat an inhospitable environment for other, dangerous bacteria and imparts the tangy flavor that separates salami from machine-dried pork. The flavor of a salami relies just as much on how these bacteria are cultivated as it does on quality and variety of other ingredients. Originally, the bacteria were introduced into the meat mixture with wine, which contains other types of beneficial bacteria; now, starter cultures are used. The whole process takes about 36 weeks, although some age it more for additional taste, and some can cut it down to about 24 weeks for a sweeter taste.
The drying and curing process is determined by the climate of the curing environment and the size and style of casing. After fermentation, the sausage has to be dried. This changes the casings from being water-permeable to being reasonably airtight. A white covering of either mold or flour helps prevent the photo-oxidation of the meat and rancidity in the fat.
Nitrates or nitrites are added to provide the cured meat color and inhibit growth of harmful bacteria from the genus Clostridium. Salt, acidity, nitrate/nitrite levels and dryness of the fully-cured salami combine to make the uncooked meat safe to consume.