Salami di Felino
Salame di Felino is a pure pork salame from Felino, a small town located in the green Baganza valley, the food rich region around Parma. This dry aged sausage is recognized by its uneven shape, one end being smaller than the other. The salami is aged for three months in the same climactic conditions that create the world famous Prosciutto di Parma. Unlike the majority of salamis on the market, Salame Felino is packed exclusively in natural casings (i.e. never synthetic ones).
|Lean pork (shoulder)||600 g||1.32 lb|
|Pork belly||200 g||0.44 lb|
|Pork back fat||200 g||0.44 lb|
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
|Salt||28 g||5 tsp|
|Cure #2||4.0 g||3/4 tsp|
|Pepper||1.0 g||1/2 tsp|
|Peppercorns, whole||2.0 g||1 tsp|
|Dextrose||3.0 g||1/2 tsp|
|Sugar||2.0 g||1/3 tsp|
|Pepper||2.0 g||1 tsp|
|Garlic||3.5 g||1 clove|
|White wine||5 ml||1 tsp|
|Starter culture, T-SPX||0.12 g||use scale|
- Separately, grind lean pork and fat through 1/4” (6 mm) plate.
- 30 minutes before mixing dissolve starter culture in 1 tablespoon de-chlorinated water.
- Mix ground meat with salt and cure #2.
- Add fat, spices, wine and culture to the mixture and re-mix.
- Stuff into large pork casings and make 18” (45 cm) sections.
- Ferment at 20º C (68º F) for 72 hours, 90 → 85% humidity.
- Dry for 30 days at 15-12º C (59-54º F), 85→75% decreasing humidity.
- The sausage is dried until around 30-35% in weight is lost.
- Store sausages at 10-15º C (50-59º F), <75% humidity.
The name ‘Salame Felino’ followed by the wording ‘Protected Geographical Indication’ or the abbreviation ‘PGI’ (translated into the language in which the product is being marketed) must be affixed to the label.
A fine white mold will grow on the surface of salami which is desirable as it contributes to a better more mellow flavor. If the mold is objectable you can wipe it off with a cloth moistened with vinegar.,br>
‘Salame Felino’ PGI's reputation is attested to by a copious bibliography of references and citations. The first references date back as far as certain Latin authors of the 1st century AD (Apicus — De re coquinaria). ‘Salame Felino’ was well known in the courts that subsequently established themselves in the capital, from the Farnese to the Bourbons to Duchess Marie Louise. The oldest depiction of the product seems to be found in the decoration of the interior of the Baptistery of Parma (1196-1307). On the frieze slab dedicated to the Aquarius sign of the zodiac, two salamis can be seen at the hearth on a rotating saucepan stand. These salamis are of a size and shape that can still be found today and are the same as those of ‘Salame Felino’ PGI.
A 1766 census of the pig population revealed that the Marquisate of Felino was the most lively pig market in the district. Dating from the same period are price lists for the Felino area quoting prices for lean and fatty salami. Reports of customs and culinary traditions for the early 19th century reveal that there was a distinctive method of processing pig meat into salami in the area around the town of Felino. The entry ‘Salame Felino’ appeared in the Italian dictionary in 1905 and, in 1912, the production of salami in Felino was examined in the Ministry of Agriculture's report on economic performance for the year.
Since 1927, the relevant local public institutions have granted salami produced in the Province of Parma the name ‘Salame Felino’. Indeed, this name must obviously have already enjoyed particular renown and reputation, and thus been particularly recognisable, if the Office and Provincial Council of the National Economy felt that promoting its commercial use was a means of boosting the wellbeing of the province. Still today, the fact that the production of ‘Salame Felino’ is rooted in the territory of the Province of Parma can be seen through research and studies into the area's gastronomic culture. Indeed, many reviews have linked ‘Salame Felino’ to the province's gastronomy, citing it as one of Parma's most highly appreciated meat products, the quality of which is inextricably linked to the centuries-old tradition that developed and is maintained unchanged only in the valleys of the Province of Parma. To this should be added the many events that continue to be organized both in Italy and abroad by both the local and provincial authorities of Parma in honor of ‘Salame Felino’, with stands being set up to offer tastings and information material on the characteristics of the product and its historical production in the Province of Parma.
The geographical area of production
The Salame Felino PGI production area, which covers the whole Province of Parma, is marked by the presence of both hilly and flat areas, large wooded areas as well as lakes and salt mines. This created ideal conditions for curing meats with salt. On top of that, the exposure to marine air currents and the presence of right levels of humidity created favorable conditions for drying and maturing meat products. In the Parma hills, it has always been possible to combine the techniques of the plain with the salt of Salsomaggiore. The phrase ‘techniques of the plain’ means those methods for processing and curing pig meat that developed as far back as the Etruscan and Roman period owing to the presence of pig farms dedicated, among other things, to supplying food for the Roman legions. In the hills around the plain, these techniques were combined with the opportunity to make easier use of the salt from the Salsomaggiore mines as a result of the hills being the traditional focus point for processing the salt, which, being a precious substance, was processed in areas that were located far from communication routes and were thus more secure from possible raids. Indeed, including because of the presence of these salt mines, the salting and processing of pig meat has, since 1300, led to the manufacture of products that are recognized at both national and international level.
Only locally raised and officially approved breeds of pigs may be selected. The minimum age at slaughter is nine months and the pig must weigh 160 kg +/– 10 %. Boars and sows may not be used. Marketed feed must comply with trade standards. The feed should preferably be in liquid form (swill or mash), and is traditionally mixed with whey. For the feed permitted for animals up to 80 kg live weight, the dry matter content from grain must not be less than 45 % of the total. For the feed permitted during the fattening stage, the dry matter from grain must not be less than 55 % of the total.
Meat: Choice meat cuts are chosen such as shoulder and belly. The meat (muscle and fat tissue) used for ‘Salame Felino’ PGI must be put into a cold store at a temperature of not less than – 1 °C and arranged in such a way as to allow the muscle tissue to dry out well. Frozen meat is not permitted.
Ingredients: salt (2-2.8 %), whole pepper and/or pepper pieces (0.03-0.06 %) and ground garlic. Other allowed ingredients are: dry white wine, up to a maximum of 4 ml per 1 kg of meat, to accentuate the aroma and flavor, sugar and/or dextrose and/or fructose: 0-0.3 %, fermentation starter cultures, sodium and/or potassium nitrate (maximum 300 mg/kg), sodium and/or potassium nitrite (maximum 150 mg/kg), ascorbic acid and its sodium salt (maximum 1 g/kg).
Processing: Salami Felino must be tied with butcher twine (not netted). Only natural casings must be used. Meat and fat are ground through 6-8 mm (1/4 - 3/8”) grinder plate. Then, the meat paste is mixed with all ingredients and is stuffed in natural casings. No synthetic casings are allowed. Size: irregular cylindrical shape, between 15 cm and 130 cm long, and between 200 g and 4.5 kg in weight. Next, the sausages are fermented/dried for 4 – 6 days at 13 – 24° C (54 – 75° F). Then, Salame Felino enters drying/maturing stage which lasts at least 25 days at 12 – 18° C (53 – 64° F) with slowly decreasing humidity.