Introducing..... STARTER CULTURES for salami and cured sausage making.
Now, before you go into a crazed frenzy thinking that we're suggesting you fill your salami with chemicals, fear not!
- Firstly - starter cultures come from a natural botanical source, no chemical enhancements.
- Secondly - starter cultures are an amazing ingredient to use in your salami for a few reasons plus benefits.
The culture itself is easy to use, simply sprinkle the amount required in with your recipe mix and mix your meat well. You will feel the culture start to activate once mixing continues as your meat mix will become very sticky (this is a good thing. If it's not sticky... you're not working hard enough!)
Instead of leaving your salami meat mix to rest over night, you fill your casings straight away and then hang the salami in a warm area at between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius for 3-5 days (depending on the quantity of salami you're producing). Like with yeast when mixing bread dough, the starter culture needs to be warmed to activate. After this time, you move the salami to wherever you usually have it hanging. THAT'S IT, congratulations, you've successfully used starter culture!
So what does the starter do for your salami that's so wonderful and exciting? Well... this part gets a little bit scientific so we'll keep it brief:
- The starter builds and develops the good enzymes and bacteria with the minced meat helping ward of any bacterial contamination.
- It induces the fermentation, meaning, if the conditions are correct your fermentation will generally begin within 24 hours of hanging, not 7-8 days later. The quicker your salami start to ferment, the less risk of contamination.
- The starter helps bind your raw meat mix, giving you a more firm and consistent maturation.
- When sliced (assuming you've filled it correctly) you will be treated to a solid meaty texture all the way through. No more air pockets or bubbles, cracks or crumbling.
- And after all that, the benefits still continue - the culture is odorless, flavourless and colourless, leaving you with the flavours and aroma that you love and enjoy.
As you will be warming your produce slightly to activate the culture, we highly recommend using a curing salt. The curing salt will help maintain balance in the meat and aid in preventing the meat from beginning to cook inside the casing. The nitrite content in the salt will also act as an added preventative to harmful bacteria wanting to make your produce their home.
Most people hear the word 'nitrite' and go on quite the rant, however how many of you eat fruit and veg? majority of these contain nitrates, which when ingested, convert to nitrites.
The amount of nitrite contained in our curing salts is 1.25% of the total weight, so for 5kgs of salami that's 1.75gm, barely measurable yet enough to keep you and your meat safe when used correctly.
Are you going to try our little salami secret?