Food curing has been practiced for thousands of years. Originally to preserve and store meat, fish and vegetables but also to prevent disease.
Whereas today it is more about taste, experience and the value of traditional artisan foods and food making. Whilst parma ham and some authentic Spanish chorizo and Italian salamis are still cured with salt, more often a mixture of salt and potassium nitrate and sodium nitrite are used for curing.
The Hampshire Salami Company is an artisan maker of Salumi.
The Italian collective for salami and cured meats. All their products are based on Italian recipes, which have been developed over many hundreds of years. They cure it, they sell it, they eat it, teach it and write about artisan salumi and salami making.
Salumi include bresaola, which is made from beef, and also cooked products such as mortadella and prosciutto cotto (cooked), with salami being a specific type of salumi. Salumi can be broadly split into three groups:
The whole cured muscle – such as Pancetta, Prosciutto Crudo (Parma ham), Lonza (cured loin of pork), Capocollo or Coppa (cured collar muscle) and other smaller cuts.
Insaccato – anything that is chopped and stuffed into a skin, such as a natural casing or a synthetic casing which is then cured, dry aged and becomes what we call salami.
Cotto – any combination of the two above which is then cooked, such as Mortadella or Prosciutto Cotto (baked ham)