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Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing Hardcover – August 27, 2012


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Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing + Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing (Revised and Updated)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (August 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393068595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393068597
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Good food writing, like good travel writing, ought to be interesting enough to be enjoyed for its own sake, even if the subject turns out not to be some misty romantic destination or some fabulously exotic cuisine. ...Thus anyone who has ever enjoyed a really good slice of salami, prosciutto, sopressata, mortadella or capocola will thoroughly appreciate Salumi, Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's comprehensive guide to the ancient Italian art of dry-curing meat. ...The authors unravel... many...culinary mysteries and--along with giving detailed, from-scratch recipes for more 100 varieties of salumi--include helpful information on equipment, prep techniques and ingredient sources. --Aram Bakshian Jr.

About the Author

Michael Ruhlman has written and coauthored many bestsellers, among them The French Laundry Cookbook and Ratio. He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Brian Polcyn is the chef/owner of Forest Grill in Birmingham, Michigan, and a professor of charcuterie at SchoolCraft College in Livonia, Michigan.

More About the Author

Michael Ruhlman is the author of more than twenty non-fiction and cooking related works, including the bestselling "The Soul of a Chef," "The French Laundry Cookbook" with Thomas Keller, Charcuterie and Ruhlman's Twenty, which won both James Beard and IACP awards. He lives in Cleveland with his wife, Donna, who is the photographer on his most recent cookbooks.

Customer Reviews

Very clear recipes and instructions.
james a beck
This book lays out step by step what you need to do to make home made dry cured meats.
Majog
I would recommend this book to everyone that want to start making Italian Salami.
Valentino Burattin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

316 of 327 people found the following review helpful By Larbo on August 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's great finally to have a book in English dedicated to the subject of Italian cured meats, but - since it's the only book we're likely to have - it's disappointing that's it's not better.

In several respects, this book does improve on their Charcuterie book. First, they no longer recommend the grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid mixer, since it can't handle partially frozen meat, the auger churns it too much, and its dull blades smear rather than shear the fat, all resulting in sausages with poor texture. If they'd `fessed up about this 7 years ago, they'd have saved aspiring sausage makers a lot of frustration.

Second, their salami recipes now say that the meat should sit for up to a day after salting and grinding, before finally mixing and stuffing . This extra step allows the salt to extract myosin (a protein in meat, like the gluten in wheat), which makes for a good "bind" in the final product.

But in other respects, this book reads like time has stood still or the authors have missed out on new developments.

For curing whole muscles, they continue to rely on the traditional "salt-box" method, where the meat is simply kept covered with salt, one day for each couple of pounds. The fact that they equate 2 pounds to 1 kilogram (when it's actually 0.9) tells you a lot about the imprecision of this method. A better method, which yields more consistent results and won't have you going through boxes of salt is equilibrium brining. Once you know how much salt is to your liking, you weigh the meat (plus whatever liquid you're adding), use your ratio to calculate the amount of salt needed (I like .
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By ArtisanBeard on January 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When you are taking on the task of dry curing meats, you want to be sure you are safely doing so. While I loved "Charcuterie", and was very excited to get my hands on "Salumi", I was disappointed, like many others, with the obvious lack of detailed editing and recipe testing in Salumi. I won't point out again what others have already pointed out, but I will add that the very first recipe that I was planning to make was the "Speck" recipe in the book, and found a couple of errors. The recipe gives the weight of the meat to be cured at a "4500 gram Pork Shoulder", which gives us the starting point to the rest of the recipe (which is based on the weight of the meat.) He then gives the salt cure measurements, which consist of "225 grams of salt (8.5% of the weight of meat)"...the problem is that 225 grams is only 5% of the weight of the 4500 gram shoulder they are curing, not 8.5%. This calls into question the rest of the cure, including the pink salt and other ingredients (are they based on the weight of meat or the weight of salt?).

Also, in the same recipe, the description of the recipe states that "Ours is heavily seasoned with pepper, bay leaf, juniper, nutmeg and cinnamon."...yet there is no cinnamon in the recipe at all. This, again, was the first recipe I've tried in the book, and found 2 errors...I'm a bit hesitant to try others.

I emailed Michael Ruhlman on Nov. 11 to inform him about the errors I've found, but never did ger a reply.

I do hope that the second printing of this book fixes the errors that I have found, as well as the ones others have found, as I think this could have been a good book. I do not recommend buying it until then.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Busser on September 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got and read it last week. Not awful but frankly I wasn't impressed overall. More of a recipe book plus discussion on quality of pork and butchering. I was hopeful there would be more information around "troubleshooting" issues such as case hardening as well as more in depth discussion on humidity, temp ranges. Said another way more "meat" around the actual curing process. Let's be honest, most of us can follow a recipe and have the equipment already - our struggles are with consistency and the actual end result for a variety of reasons. There is no discussion on the different fermentation cultures available and the resulting taste differences. They still recommend humidity of 60%-70% which based on my experience is way too low, especially initially.

All in all I would say this book would suit someone with a solid knowledge of curing already and then only as a reference for either butchering a hog or recipes, nothing more.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jared Brinkman on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thank god they finally recommended not using a Kitchen Aid grinder/stuffer, but the book could have easily been 100 pages shorter if they'd have spent two paragraphs explaining the simple grinding method and salt box method rather than re-printing the same instructions for each recipe. The final third of the book, dedicated to serving suggestions, offers nothing new in realm of salumi parings. While the resources section is helpful, actual photography of tying and butchery methods would have been more helpful than hand drawn illustrations, a good chunk of the book is spent romantically writing about time they'd spent in Itally. I could do without the bragging of your dream vacations. I've met both Mike and Brian, and they're great guys. However, this book seems to be more about them lamenting on the "research," their publisher funded than telling the reader how to make the best salumi. Perhaps their publisher forced them to dumb it down for a wider audience, but I'd rather reference a Marianski brothers' book than look to this one for guidance.
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