Synopses & Reviews
Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn inspired a revival of artisanal sausage making and bacon curing with their surprise hit, . Now they delve deep into the Italian side of the craft with , a book that explores and simplifies the recipes and techniques of dry curing meats. As the sources and methods of making our food have become a national discussion, an increasing number of cooks and professional chefs long to learn fundamental methods of preparing meats in the traditional way. Ruhlman and Polcyn give recipes for the eight basic products in Italy's pork salumi repertoire: guanciale, coppa, spalla, lardo, lonza, pancetta, prosciutto, and salami, and they even show us how to butcher a hog in the Italian and American ways. This book provides a thorough understanding of salumi, with 100 recipes and illustrations of the art of ancient methods made modern and new.
"As a follow-up to their excellent Charcuterie, these two Midwestern cured-meat aficionados focus on the skills and ingredients needed for creating a variety of Italian classics. Proponents of nose-to-tail cookery, they not only advise going whole hog, in the most literal sense, they also provide detailed instructions on butchering a pig Italian-style with 'minimal sawing of bone' and leaving intact the 'whole muscles prized for curing.' The accompanying illustrations are highly detailed and as beautiful as they are macabre. The basics of using salt are spelled out, as are the vital roles played by mold and bacteria. Then it is on to the 'big eight,' the top cuts and how to prepare them for their sausagey destiny. They include the guanciale (jowl), coppa (neck/shoulder/loin), spalla (shoulder), lardo (back fat), lonza (loin), pancetta (belly), prosciutto (ham, back leg), and salami. For each, there is an appropriate cure a mix of salts, peppercorns and other spices which, once applied to the meat, requires drying times ranging from a few weeks to a year. Among the nearly three dozen salami recipes, there are options like orange and walnut salami, and a spicy salami diablo. And for those who have both a strong stomach and access to a pig bladder, there is culatello: 10 pounds of salted ham stuffed into the bladder, sewn shut, and left to dry for at least four months." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"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.
The craft of Italian salumi, now accessible to the American cook, from the authors of the best-selling .
About the Author
Brian Polcyn is chef/owner of Forest Grill in Birmingham, MI; Cinco Lagos in Milford, MI; and a professor of charcuterie at SchoolCraft College in Livonia, MI.Michael Ruhlman has authored six nonfiction books, including The Soul of a Chef and The Making of a Chef. He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.