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Jeffrey McConnell
salami on 06/15/2010 18:36:38 MDT Print View

Should I be able to find salami that doesn't need to be refrigerated at the local market or is there a better place to find it? Will I need to check labels or is there an easier way to figure out if it needs to be refrigerated? I only need it to last a couple days. Thx.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: salami on 06/15/2010 18:38:07 MDT Print View

Summer sausage will keep a lot longer without refrigeration.


Jeffrey McConnell
Re: Re: salami on 06/15/2010 19:07:28 MDT Print View

I'd be willing to try that. My main concern is where do I find these items? Local grocery store? I haven't really used these food items before for backpacking or otherwise, so I don't know where to find them.

Edited by Catalyst on 06/15/2010 19:07:58 MDT.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
"Dry Salami" on 06/15/2010 19:23:09 MDT Print View

Dry Salami keep s pretty well without refrigeration. I've used it backpacking for years.

Be aware that it does have a very strong scent, which may attract bears and other critters, while repelling your friends!

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: salami on 06/15/2010 19:52:16 MDT Print View

Any dried, air-cured, or fermented meat will keep longer than most American grocery store shoppers would imagine. That stuff was invented way before refrigerators for a reason. Pretty much anything in a casing that is not obviously raw I guess would be a rule of thumb. Dried stuff is usually easy to distinguish from cooked but moist stuff. Stick with harder, drier stuff in the hot summer--same with cheeses--just so they don't melt and ooze. When the temps drop, you can bring almost anything if it's just a weekend. Boars Head makes some great products that grocery stores here carry (GA). If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they carry Columbus brand which is a real treat. Don't worry about some white mold on the outside--that's normal and you'll see some really good stuff sold that way--just wipe it off or eat it. Peel the casings if you want--some are almost invisibly thin and you just eat, others are like a tire--you'll know the difference.

Unless I'm carrying a whole sausage and a knife, I often get the grocery deli to slice whatever I want, separating meal-sized portions for me with layers of plastic film as they stack it. I can slap them on bread or tortillas or just eat them plain without getting my hands greasy (or the food dirty).

I know this is pretty scary sounding, but lately I have been buying pre-sliced salami and pepperoni at the local dollar store. They come in individual packs (Starkist tuna packs too). Not high quality meats, of course, but perfect for trail lunches since the sealed packaging helps reduce odors. Get used to eating this way and you can leave your stove and fuel at home. Chocolate covered espresso beans can replace coffee if you are a caffeine addict.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: salami on 06/15/2010 20:00:46 MDT Print View

I have been using salami for years backpacking.. I can usually have it for 3-4 days on a trip. By a stick of salami and you should be ok. Here's a question, have you ever been in a grocery store and saw salami not refrigerated? I do all the time.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: salami on 06/15/2010 20:10:45 MDT Print View

I see that unrefrigerated salami all the time. But my question is, once you open it and expose it to the air (or more precisely the bacteria and other microorganisms floating around) doesn't its shelf life then become MUCH shorter? Because really, we refrigerate a lot of stuff only to inhibit the growth of bacteria, correct? Or did I sleep through my biology class WAY too much and miss the boat on this topic?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: "Dry Salami" on 06/15/2010 20:16:03 MDT Print View

"Be aware that it does have a very strong scent, which may attract bears and other critters"

Indeed. I'd say you're really leading with your chin if you take salami in bear country.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: salami on 06/15/2010 20:21:37 MDT Print View

Don't worry about taking some salami or summer sausage into bear country. The bears will be happy to help you take care of it. The problem will be after you eat some of it, and you will have salami odor around your camp, and you will have it on your fingers. Fine. You can wash up, but the bears will smell it after you don't anymore.

I have some little 2-oz turkey sausages, so I carry them in a ziploc bag, use them one at a meal, and keep the bag closed the rest of the time. So far, the bears have not attacked me, but it is only a matter of time...


Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Dry Salami and bears on 06/15/2010 20:53:41 MDT Print View

Yes, for goodness sakes don't take dry salami into "bear" country. And don't take sharp cheddar, homemade soup mix with a lot of seasoning, tapenade for the flat tortillas and certainly not sticks of butter....

Wait, that was most of our menu last week as we paddled up and down Lynn Canal in Brown Bear Country.

Put it all in an OPsak and call it good. Breath a little, you will probably get mugged before a bear steals your salami.

Lynn Sister Dinner

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Dry Salami and bears on 06/15/2010 21:09:48 MDT Print View

Umnak--I love your photos.

Earlier this year I accidentally left a half pound of mortadella and some very stinky, aged provalone in my trunk overnight where there was a known "problem bear". I'm lucky my car didn't get trashed, but he did terrorize my campsite (about a mile away) for a while.

edit to add--I forgot to mention that another BPL'er recently showed me how he uses mini sausages available at to make gumbo with minute rice, tabasco, and garlic powder. Simple and really outstanding.

Edited by bcamprini on 06/15/2010 21:28:37 MDT.

Jeffrey McConnell
Re: Re: Re: salami on 06/15/2010 21:42:00 MDT Print View

"Here's a question, have you ever been in a grocery store and saw salami not refrigerated? I do all the time."

This is actually what caused my confusion. I've always seen it refrigerated. Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I'll head over to Trader Joe's tomorrow to pick some up. I'll be hiking Shasta this weekend...I don't think bears will be a problem where I'm going.

Another question. Would pepperoni last similar to salami?

Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Re: Re: Dry Salami and bears on 06/15/2010 21:42:43 MDT Print View

I do tend to forget that here we are moving along where brown bears have always lived and, though certainly have suffered at the hands of humans, whose land it is, not ours.

BTW, we also brought three packages of smoked salmon.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Re: Re: Dry Salami and bears on 06/15/2010 22:08:23 MDT Print View

My sentiments exactly on whose land it is. You are really fortunate to have such a backyard to play in / kitchen to eat in.

To the question about refrigerated/unrefrigerated salami in stores--where I live they refrigerate many items that don't need to be, prob so people will think of it as safe and buy it. Not necessary, but it prob does extend the shelf life some too and prevent that one in a million sick lawyer. If something is seriously foul, your nose and eyes will scream. If you think it's ok, but aren't sure simply bc it doesn't look like on the box or commercial, you'll be fine. Amazing how our senses can protect us better than a warning label--lol.

Oh, and pepperoni falls in that great hard cured meat category. Lasts for ages, but has some fat so it might weep a little oily grease if it's really hot. Nothing to worry about.

edit--Some great dried, ground, seasoned pork products that we collectively call "salami" here in the US are soppressata (more of a coarse ground meat--poor examples at grocery stores but still good) and finocchiona (seasoned with fennel seeds). Also dried beef--bresoala is great. You can find these at specialty stores and online. Trader Joes might even have them.

Edited by bcamprini on 06/15/2010 22:48:22 MDT.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Salami and hard cheese on 06/15/2010 23:24:40 MDT Print View

Those and a few pitas are the best for the first couple of lunches.

Basically, bacteria and molds need a certain amount of moisture to grow, so the drier and greasier the cheese or salami the more resistant...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: salami on 06/16/2010 02:48:01 MDT Print View

Why do you think the Europeans invented salami? To preserve meat without refrigeration of course.
The same applies to cheese: to preserve the guts of it over winter.

Whether the sorts of 'salami' you can buy in America actually qualify as real salami - that I do not know.


Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Dry Salami and bears on 06/16/2010 09:49:35 MDT Print View

Brian, nice knowledge on Italian cured meats. Bresoala is fantastic! As for having salame in the backcountry. I have done alot of my trips between Yosemite and SEKI and I have never, ever had a problem with bears wanting to eat it. In fact I have only seen 2 bears in 15 years........

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dry Salami and bears on 06/16/2010 10:38:18 MDT Print View

"2 bears in 15 years"

You have to get into the backcountry more. My rate is to see 1-3 black bears per year in Yosemite. Last weekend, a birdwatcher in Sequoia-Kings counted eleven different bears in two days. They were all out searching for salami.


Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dry Salami and bears on 06/16/2010 11:14:54 MDT Print View

Bob, I am the anti bear. My hiking partners laugh that every trip we take, we don't see any bears. I have camped in some high bear traffic areas over the years and it has just worked out that way...Maybe that is a good thing???

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dry Salami and bears on 06/16/2010 18:09:02 MDT Print View

"As for having salame in the backcountry. I have done alot of my trips between Yosemite and SEKI and I have never, ever had a problem with bears wanting to eat it."

There's a lesson in there somewhere, Ken. ;)

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Ken and Bears on 06/16/2010 18:22:56 MDT Print View

I would watch the very high calorie pepperoni. In heat it gets oily and downright disgusting. It took me over 6 months to be able to eat pepperoni again.

Ken, I'm going on 5 years and have only two bears in the wild. I will have to take some salami on my next trip and watch the bears line up to sample.

When I hiked the SHR last year I broke a container of honey all over my food when I dropped my food bag from a hang. I couldn't believe that we didn't have all the Sierra bears converge on our site the following night.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dry Salami and bears on 06/16/2010 18:32:18 MDT Print View

"Bob, I am the anti bear. My hiking partners laugh that every trip we take, we don't see any bears. I have camped in some high bear traffic areas over the years and it has just worked out that way...Maybe that is a good thing???"

If you are knocking out 20 miles per day, you don't have any time in the evening for fooling around with bears or their antics. OTOH, on some trips I have gone in 8-10 miles to camp, and then I am wandering around with the camera looking for some good wildlife to photograph. I know where they are.


Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dry Salami and bears on 06/17/2010 09:36:40 MDT Print View

Bob, I am more of a 10-13 miles a day guy...sometimes even less...if hiking with my wife....Last bear encounter was 2008 in Tenaya Canyon. A juvenile bear got into one of my hiking buddies cannister that he left opened by accident. He hung out for a good portion of the evening looking for more food.

I just don't see bears...maybe that will change in the future, I dunno

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
re: salami on 06/17/2010 11:20:24 MDT Print View

You can definitely find salami or sausages in hermetically sealed plastic vacuum-wrap, if you look for it. PackitGourmet sells such an Italian sausage that I thought was quite adequate, wrapped in a flour tortilla.

Granted the plastic packaging is most significant for limiting smells since, as others have said, a dry salami will keep for a very long time. That's why it was invented- it contains a lot of salt as a preservative.

Philip Delvoie
(PhilipD) - MLife

Locale: Ontario, Canada
salami on 06/17/2010 13:03:07 MDT Print View


4 out of 5 bears think Salami is great!

Could not resist when I came across this picture today. No idea who the author of the picture is...but very funny.

Philip Delvoie
(PhilipD) - MLife

Locale: Ontario, Canada
salami on 06/17/2010 13:08:47 MDT Print View

One of my staples is Landjäger.

It's a dried meat product...very tasty and no refrigeration required. Lot's of the butchers or speciality meat shops in my area carry it. I usually plan on one per meal when I am out. We do have black bears here in Ontario, but have not had any problems in my neck of the woods.

Edited by PhilipD on 06/17/2010 13:12:24 MDT.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Yosemite on 06/17/2010 14:39:39 MDT Print View

Okay, I'm really interested in salami and Yosemite bears. I am planning to take salami for lunches to Yosemite. I was planning on just taking the stick and cutting whatever I wanted off. Now I'm thinking of placing a servings worth in a "seal a meal" bag. Is that good enough? I will of course be using a bear can (the ones they rent at Yosemite).

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Yosemite on 06/17/2010 14:44:50 MDT Print View

Larry, I tend to do it the way you suggest. Maybe it is overkill when using a bear can. It's just that the darn bear will smell really good salami inside it and will play with the can all night like it was a soccer ball.

That is good if you are a photographer trying to get a photo of a bear at night. However, if you are a backpacker who has had a long day, you would rather get some sleep.


Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Thanks on 06/17/2010 14:49:30 MDT Print View

While I would like to get good pictures of a bear at night, I do not want it playing with my bear can at all! And if I do anything that attracts bears my wife will have my...

So, I take it that "seal a meal" bags will work good enough to trap the smell?

Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
salami on 06/17/2010 14:51:43 MDT Print View

I'd just take the stick and cut from it as I eat. Been doing it with cheese, and salami for years.

I use a bear canister and in my experience they work so well that bears don't even waste their time trying to get into them. They don't play with them like soccer balls, maybe they did in the olden times, but they seem to have learned that canisters are not food. Worst case scenario the can gets tipped over to make sure the lid is on.

Edited by redmonk on 06/17/2010 14:53:44 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Thanks on 06/17/2010 14:54:53 MDT Print View

I don't think that anything is quite as perfect as a bear's nose. However, a seal-a-meal bag seems to be slightly better than an ordinary ziploc bag.

I would worry more about smells from foods that get spilled inside their containers or inside your pack. Sunscreen on clothing will drive the bears crazy.

I was on a trip up through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, and one gal had a backpack that had food spilled in it on a previous trip. She thought that she had cleaned it out. Not. The bear came into camp, played footsie with the bear can, then found her pack and ripped it a bit.


Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
Salami on 06/23/2010 20:51:33 MDT Print View

Hey all,
I have been using salami and hard cheeses for lunch for years! Never had a problem with bears. I hang my food and use canisters where required. See lots of bears, just never around my campsite

Anyway... I am doing a 16 day trip this summer. I was going to bring two of those vacuum sealed Columbus salamis. I was gonna use the first one over the first 6 or 7 days or so, and then open the second and use it over the last 6 or 7 days. Do you think they will last that long? I was also gonna bring a few pieces of hard cheese and use them the same way. You thing they will last?

Ben Crowell
(bcrowell) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Salami on 06/23/2010 21:10:43 MDT Print View

@Dan: I've used salami and hard cheese, but never for such a long trip. I'm guessing you'll get some surface mold on the cheese. People have posted here about coating cheese and salami in wax, but I've never tried it.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
. on 08/14/2012 22:34:57 MDT Print View

Dry salami with the white mold found at Walmart is very goo tasting. Its in the red and white paperlike packaging. It keeps well for atleast 2 weeks in my experience with temps up to 90 degrees. In fact the hotter it is the better tasting it is.

Nothing is better than a salami and cheese quesidilla on whole grain tortillas for lunch...

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Salami on 08/16/2012 16:36:58 MDT Print View

There are so many different meat products called 'salami' that you need to be an educated consumer. The ones that keep best are hung (at room temperature) for months, often have a white mold on the casing, and have a decent amount of fat. So you don't really need to worry about spoilage if it meets these criteria. I would avoid anything wrapped in plastic and found in the fridge section, and definitely avoid 'low fat' products. Salami needs to breathe to avoid spoilage, so I personally wouldn't seal it in any kind of plastic, but I don't have to worry about bears. If bears are a potential problem, you can wrap it in cloth, then seal it in a vacuum bag. This will minimise any sweating damage, but not sure how well it would work for longer trips. If planning a long trip in bear country, I would opt for slicing the salami, then drying it fully in a dehydrator before sealing it in a vacuum bag. If fully dried, sweating will not be a problem, but the salami will be tooth-breaking hard, so is best used in cooked dishes to soften. It is also REALLY hard to slice completely dry salami, which is why I recommend slicing it before drying.

I have also had good luck with dropping single serves of salami and hard cheeses in wax. Drying cheese in a dehydrator also works well, but it becomes very crumbly so best used in cooking rather than as slices on your lunch crackers. Sealing in wax doesn't prevent sweating, so this is probably only an option for short to medium trips.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: salami on 08/16/2012 17:39:03 MDT Print View

Pricy, but delicious. I stopped in at Mahogany Meats in Bishop, CA, and tasted (and then bought) some of their jerky (buffalo and elk) and one of their Landjager sausages. Incredibly delicious, and the sausage will last a couple of weeks (if not trapped in plastic, as Lynn says) according to the guy behind the counter. I'll order from them before my next trip.

Matthew mcgurk
(phatpacker) - F

Locale: Central coast California
Salme Bears on 08/22/2012 22:39:59 MDT Print View

I think bears are just after food in general if you store it right you wont have problems, oh yeah and dont use your clothes as a napkin. 4 days in winter it keeps once you break the skin and 2-3 days in other times. I dont bring it unless I can share it with someone or its winter.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Landjager, Cowboy Jerky and Salami on 08/23/2012 08:44:38 MDT Print View

:) "Mahoghany Smoked Meats" is the sign in front of Meadow Farms, and they produce the best jerky product on the planet. Some say, "whole solar system"... A longtime tradition in our family for stops "on the way in" and on the way home.

We use their Landjager on trips, but it's a bit heavy and is a "moist style", so it will both sweat and aroma-tize the daylights out of whatever it's stashed in. Coincidentally, bears in the Eastern Sierra also share the commonly accepted view of Meadow Farms meats... We tend to eat ours the first day.

Now, the "cowboy jerky" is actually a whole flank steak, dried over their smoke and a hunk the size of the palm of my hand will last a week of great meals on trail if you've got a sharp knife or teeth. In terms of fragrance, it surely is, but it won't sweat and it lasts weeks outside of refrigeration if you keep it wrapped.

And for the salami, one of my compatriots on our latest trek has sworn that, from here on out, weight is irrelevant: he's bringing salami. Apparently the craving hit hard and, on our way home, he noted that Meadow Farms will shrink wrap your sliced salami for free...

Note, they'll do it for the landjager and jerkys, too. Just ask at the counter.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: salami on 08/23/2012 18:54:35 MDT Print View

MMmmmmmmmmm.. a source for slabs of smoked meats. Thank you.

daniel B
(dbogey) - F - M

Locale: East Coast
Mahoghany Smoked Meats on 09/05/2012 09:39:04 MDT Print View

I will be there next week. Cant wait. Its my first trip into the Sierras and I think that I'll have to pick some of this up for our SHR excursion. Now I'll need to figure what coming out the Bearikade Weekender to make room for this !!

Alex Eriksson
(aeriksson) - M

Locale: Austin, TX
Try this site... on 10/16/2012 23:28:12 MDT Print View

My food-borne-illness obsessed girlfriend turned me on to along with it's accompanying iPhone app. We now use it whenever the question of "how should we store this" or "how long CAN we store this" presents itself.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Try this site... on 10/17/2012 11:16:41 MDT Print View

I tend to be pretty skeptical of any answer to those questions from someone who could be sued if I get sick from following their advice. Way too many safety factors built in for me. That is one thing I find so interesting about many of the threads in this forum: frank discussion on how far you really can push food before it spoils.

matt brisbin
(firestarter01) - F

Locale: Bay Area
OPsak's on 12/07/2012 18:43:57 MST Print View

Maybe someone can enlighten me but am I the only one thinking that OPsak's are a joke? Seems to me that the simple fact of opening and closing them with your hands would cover it in various scents.

Well, unless your absolutely clean and clear of any food/soap/etc... which seems like it would be really difficult to control if not impossible.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: OPsak's on 12/13/2012 09:14:30 MST Print View

Not sure this is the right thread for this discussion, but.... I agree trying to eliminate all smells is a fools errand, but scavengers gather a lot of information with there noses. When a bear smells it is not simply "is there food? Yes or no". A bear can get a lot of detail about how much food there is. OPsak's reduce the concentration of food an animal will detect. With properly cleanliness standards, there is evidence you can get the smells low enough to not warrant attention from scavengers.

Steve Meier
(smeier) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Parchment on 12/13/2012 16:32:06 MST Print View

I read somewhere to keep salami and cheeses stored in parchment cooking paper once they are opened as they tend to store better. I tried it my last time out and it seemed to make a big difference in how much oil separated from the salami and cheese over the few days, which made for less mess when handling and kept the smell down a bit. You can find the parchment in any larger grocery store. I'm sold on it from now on. (I still keep it sealed in an Opsak but having the paper right next to the product seemed to make the difference)

Edited by smeier on 12/13/2012 16:33:30 MST.

Kevin Buggie
(kbuggie) - M

Locale: NW New Mexico
in defense of opsacks on 12/13/2012 20:42:18 MST Print View

Like Ben, I was skeptical of the logistics of actually using these bags for prevention of food predation by both little bears(habituated chipmunk/mice) and regular bears.
But after using them in the BC for a number of trips you really notice how pungent the contents of your food bag are each time you break the seal to open the bag, esp with dog food/salami. So in addition to the in-camp benefits of not hanging food in reg black bear country due to drastic odor wafting reduction(Excluding pct,AT route saturation areas, etc) I also feel comforted knowing that my puffy insul. and camp kit isn't absorbing food odors all day inside the pack as I hike.
Opsacks simplify my camps in bear country with little effort or added risk.

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
Trail crew makes for tough gi tracts on 12/29/2012 18:26:37 MST Print View

I was part of a trail crew this summer, and our regular grocery store salami kept for the entire 10 days in the field, even in summer (Adirondacks so it was cooler than a lot of other places, and this particular summer saw no heat wave like the rest of the country). Most veggies like peppers and squash stayed fine, and even the extra sharp cheddar lasted about a week. Once fall came around forget about it, nothing went bad.

"Larry, I tend to do it the way you suggest. Maybe it is overkill when using a bear can. It's just that the darn bear will smell really good salami inside it and will play with the can all night like it was a soccer ball."

FWIW, I kept salami in tinfoil in my can in the Marcy Dam area for three nights this past summer, never had yellow yellow touch it. Although, and the ranger pointed this out to me, I had a bearikade, which he said yellow yellow didnt usually mess with. Not sure why.

Edited by gregpphoto on 12/29/2012 18:28:06 MST.

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
Bear scared? on 12/29/2012 18:33:24 MST Print View

Whats with all the bear fear going around in this thread? Sure, salami might be more odorous than crackers, but a bears sense of smell is so far off the charts it really doesnt matter much what you bring, theyre gonna find it if they want to. And are we talking black bears or grizz? I would certainly understand the fear in grizzly country, but even then I dont think its as bad as people are making it out to be. Our ancestors ate plenty of smoked meat snacks Im sure, and they didnt have bear cans.

If you're worried about the smell on your fingers after you wash them, maybe see a shrink!?

Edited by gregpphoto on 12/29/2012 18:34:04 MST.

Jan S
Re: Re: Re: Re: salami on 03/27/2013 21:12:08 MDT Print View

"But my question is, once you open it and expose it to the air (or more precisely the bacteria and other microorganisms floating around) doesn't its shelf life then become MUCH shorter?"

Bit too late, but here we go. Yes, it usually does unless you use food made to prevent exactly this problem. Like uncut salami. Good salami is fermented, extremely salty, covered by mold and dried. The fermentation lowers the pH of the meat, making it harder for bacteria to grow on it. The salt also inhibits growth of bacteria. The mold on the outside acts as a protection against other mold types and probably also against bacteria. The drying further inhibits growth of bacteria.

At the place where you broke the outer skin to cut of a slice there will be more exposure but the salami "inner" already has a lot of protection built in and it will dry out further. The drying out acts as a kind of resealing of the softer inner. Provided the salami is not cut into slices, can breath properly and is not stored in an humid environment the meat will last just about forever. I admit I forgot a salami I had already sliced something of for about 3 months. It was still fine, although extremely hard and dry and had lost some of the taste.

Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: salami on 04/06/2013 23:50:23 MDT Print View

I actually cure my own salami (and lonzino, coppa, bresaola etc). Essentially controlled temperatures (sub 15c) and the salt content added to the meat (and potassium nitrate if you add it, which I do because botulism scares me) allows it to stave off any bacterial growth while it is slowly drying down to a point where the available water % is low enough and the salt content high enough that bacteria growth is basically impossible even at room temperature. From this point it should be entirely shelf stable for a long time (e.g. >1 year). Bacteria doesn't worry me at all, due to the salts, but mould can get a little wild if the humidity trends too high... I just wipe off any fuzzy, non-white stuff with vinegar..

Salamis tend to sweat a bit due to higher fat content, but I like strips of pork tenderloin, which are a convenient size and usually 150-250g once fully dried. These are lean and keep well. I took a couple on a 4 day trip last week. Only ended up eating one.. the other spent about 6 days out of the curing fridge before I remembered to put it back in again. I'll probably eat it soon anyway, but honestly if it stayed in there another 3 months I wouldn't be worried.