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Alex Eriksson

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.