What Is Salami Made Of?

Cheeseboards, sandwiches, and pizza. The versatile salami with its rich flavor is perfect for them all. Although there are over 300 varieties hailing from every area of Italy, there are no confirmed claims that salami was born in Italy, and many other countries are famous for their delicious varieties. So now that your mouth is watering, have you ever wondered what salami is made of?

Salami is made from pork or beef, but some butchers use other meats like turkey, venison, goose, horse, and donkey. The other ingredients in salami are garlic, minced fat, vinegar, herbs, salt, spices, and even wine. The maker ferments the meat mixture for a day and hangs it up in a casing to cure.

Salami looks like a very thick type of sausage, but unlike traditional sausage, we seldom cook this tasty treat.

Although we don’t cook salami, it is safe to eat because of the way it was prepared before it reached your table. Let’s find out how salami is made.

Is Salami Cooked?

Salami comes in a long, firm tube, ready to eat straight after slicing. Although it has not been cooked, it is safe to eat because it has been cured.

“Cured” means that the salami makers have dried the meat mixture and preserved it with salt or other preservatives.

A basic salami recipe includes a mixture of ground pork or other meats, salt, herbs, spices, garlic, and minced fat.

But since there are hundreds of different types of salami, there must be many other ingredients that can be added to make each variation unique.

What is Salami Made Of And How Salami Is Made 

The first step a salami maker will do is grind up different cuts of pork, beef, or another chosen meat and mix them with some fatty bits.

Next, he will add the salt, garlic, herbs, spices, and sometimes even nuts into the meat mixture.

The maker will use a cleaned pig’s intestine as a casing and stuff the salami mixture inside it. He will hang this up to dry-cure.

Salami gets its mouth-watering taste from the good bacteria that develop as the sausage ferments, making it more acidic and giving it a tasty chewiness.

The salt draws all the extra moisture from the meat while stored in a space with strictly controlled temperatures and humidity levels.

It can sometimes take years for that scrumptious salami to be ready, but it is worth the wait. 

Cured Vs. Uncured Salami

You will agree that no cooking is involved in the salami-making process, but you may have noticed that some types are labeled “cured” and some as “uncured.”

Although this may be confusing at first, these labels are required by law.

“Uncured” salami is still cured, but it means that the meat has been cured using natural ingredients like salt rather than other preservatives.

“Cured” salami means that the makers used salt and certain chemicals like sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite to preserve the meat.

How Many Calories In Salami?

In a world constantly worrying about being healthy, fat, slim, or fit, everyone wants to know the number of calories found in the foods they eat.

What about salami? How many calories are in it, and is it good for you? 

Salami is high in sodium, fat, and protein but not very high in carbs and calories. It also contains several vitamins and minerals.

Three slices of salami will cost you 99 calories. These are some other nutrients that your body will gain from a serving:

  • 7g Protein
  • 8g Fat
  • 0.5g Carbs
  • 23% of the Daily Value (DV) Sodium
  • 21% DV Vitamin B12
  • 13% DV Thiamine
  • 9% DV Niacin
  • 8% DV Zinc
  • 7% DV Vitamin B6
  • 6% DV Pantothenic acid
  • 6%  DV Copper
  • 5% DV Riboflavin

Salami is high in sodium, and although it plays an important part in balancing the fluids in your body, too much sodium can increase your blood pressure.

Salami is a good source of protein and is important for tissue repair and muscle growth.

Vitamin B12 and niacin play a key role in maintaining healthy brain functions.

Salami is also a good source of zinc which boosts your immune system and helps with wound healing.

Salami sounds like the perfect food with low calories and high levels of essential nutrients, but it doesn’t come without some health risks.

It is classed as processed meat, sometimes linked to higher cancer risk.

Processed meats like salami are also sometimes the culprits that cause foodborne illness. This can cause stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and an upset stomach.

Can You Freeze Salami?

Yes, you can freeze salami. Whether you have leftover salami from a previous meal with family or friends or buy in bulk to keep for future use, it is important to do it correctly to maintain good food safety.

 Take the salami out of its packaging because it might not be able to stop air from coming into contact with the meat.

Cut the salami into slices.

Put the salami on a piece of foil and close it up on all sides so that no air can get in. Pop it into a freezer bag with the date on it.

How Long Does Salami Last?

If a salami roll hasn’t been cut yet, it can last up to six weeks outside a refrigerator.

That’s because it has been preserved through the curing process.

This process was used many centuries before the invention of the refrigerator. It is always best to keep to the use-by date, though.

You should not leave salami sitting out of the refrigerator for more than two hours because it could turn bad.

Once it has been sliced, and in contact with air, bacteria can get into the meat, making somebody sick.

The USDA says that salami can last indefinitely in the refrigerator.

If you have stored your leftover salami in the freezer, it can stay there for two to three months and be safely eaten.

It is important to put a date label on it when freezing. 

Conclusion

Making salami is an interesting process that gives us a ready-to-eat meaty snack that is safe to eat despite not being cooked.

It’s also convenient because we don’t have to cook it. It is low in calories and has some health benefits and slight risks. It can be frozen for up to three months.

All in all, it’s a delicious savory treat that goes well with all kinds of meals or on its own. What’s not to love?