Sunday, 1 May 2011

Salami Culture

Ever wondered how salami is made?

Well I can tell you, in brief it is where sausagemeat and fat are mixed together with seasonings of your choice and stuffed into large animal casings, where they are then hung and left to ferment and air-dry for several weeks or even months.

Usually a rule of thumb would be; leave your salami air-drying until it has lost between 30 and 40% of it's original weight.

To achieve the best and safest results, it is wise today to add a culture to your mix, this helps the salami start the fermentation process. This also adds flavour and it aids in attaining the white powdery mould on the surface area which is another indicator saying "I'm ready to eat".

Mike a farmer from Tavistock Devon and one of my mature pupils is here above watching over his daughter Lisa making her first salami. I can tell you Mike brought to class a great tip at this session, he explained he uses a supermarket dairy product as his culture. What is it you're asking right? Well I can tell you it's "Yakult" the health drink you often see advertised on TV.

Yakult contains "Lactobacillus casei Shirota" the same ingredient as supplied by the many specialist suppliers to the meat and cheese-makers market.

On a recent visit to my local supermarket I checked out these health drinks and they were many varieties, including many brands with fruits added.

I can see some people using these to make the smaller snack salami, so c'mon who's game for making some strawberry & chocolate flavoured pork salami? has a great source of information if you have any questions!


  1. Great post Marc:

    I would be interested in learning more about the use of Lactobacillus dairy cultures in salami making, as the most expensive part of production for me is purchasing the freeze dried cultures.

    I've been making my own mold culture ( for the outside of the salami ) by taking a commercial casing and "cultivating" the mold in a plastic container and it seems to be a successful alternative.

  2. Hi Scott

    I'll add the website address to the blog, that may answer a few questions.

  3. Hi Marc- I am totally game for hand dipping salami with some of my chocolate. We have some fantastic salami here and I am up for the creative challenge.

  4. Hi Megan

    More of a challenge would be using your newly accquired skills as a Chocolatier. Make some small snack salamis(in lamb skins)with chocolate chips and health drink culture. This should take only a couple of weeks to come to fruition.

    Be the first and blog your findings, this will put you on the map!

    Email if you need help with the salami!!

  5. Okay, Marc, I like salami, no problem there. But don't mess with me--chocolate chip salami?! Reminds me of all those tiresome accounts of late about bacon cupcakes, bacon candy, etc. Don't mess with my bacon!

  6. Hi Jean

    Thought provoking, don't you think? I wonder what the Romans would of thought! Similar to you I would say.

  7. Wild...

    Aren't these cultures used to specifically lower PH within the products to render them safe to age and eat? Not too mention impart their tangy flavors. I think these cultures are more important to flavor than people realize.

    I would love to see someone explore the flavor variance of different molds and cultures add to a product....but I know thats askin alot.

    Wikipedia conveniently points out that "Lactobacillus casei Shirota" has been shown to lower the amounts of compounds in digestion that cause flatulence.... good to know for all of us salami lovers out there :)

  8. i made a test with 3 different cultures, sorry in swedish again:-( you have to rolldown

  9. how much yakult per kg of meat do you reckon? ferment at 30°C?

  10. Mike reccomended 1 bottle to approximately 10kg of meat. I ferment mine first at 28c degrees for 24hrs and then the remainder between 12 - 15c degrees with a humidity between 70 - 80% until I reach the weight loss I desire.

  11. Is there any scientic study thay shows thay yakukt (casei shirota) works to ferment salami? Or at least a test with controls? Please send me a link

  12. very very good idea,since yakult is easy to get