SEMINARS and Salumi education.

IMG_1016IMG_0999IMG_1005 2014 SEMINARS We are in discussion for a few more events later this year. Opening the new plant of Mike Phillips in Minneapolis in April Slow Food Meat gathering in Colorado in June Future seminars in Wisonsin, New York, Ojay, CA, Kauai again   Palmer, Alaska. Sunday March 30 to Sunday April 6 at MatValley meat. It was a success, breaking 10 pigs and dealing with all the meat. We had 3 chefs from CA and 5 from Alaska, closing the event with a beautiful dinner with 90 guests. Monday        Each participant breaks, bones, Trims and sorts a pork side. Lard is                             rendered, stock get started, heads boned go into brine. Tuesday       Guanciale, lardo, bacon, coppa, ham and speck salted; atriaux, rilettes,                      pâtés, mousse. Wednesday   Cure, smoke, cook, ferment, dry, age. Thursday       Sausages, mortadella, saucissons, headcheese. Friday            Salamis. Saturday       Roast porchetta,  sausage fest dinner.




December third 2013 We are now settled in Petaluma, California on #6, sixth street, CA 94952.  Still corresponding as <>   A new sausage kitchenette In the back of the garden is a little house, already equipped with power, water, heating, ventilation (wondering what usage by some previous owner?). I sealed floor and walls and brought in some equipment, more is coming : small bowl chopper, smoker, stainless back splash for the tables and a first pig is expected next Thursday. I will do demos and teach; if you are in Northern California and want to play in the mini kitchen, I am ready.

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  The Magic Wand of the Old Salumaio. From the moment you split the carcass and start working with your knife. Be aware that the meat, you are preparing, is composed in diverse proportions and textures of three components: The red muscle fibers, the white membranes and the fat. When you prepare the meat ingredients for your recipes, you must select the proper blend, to achieve the particular properties of each product. Binding is a key to the quality of any product, cooked or raw. The “glue” providing the binding is formed during the process, by the red muscle proteins, under the effect of the salt. You hold a magic wand, when you chop, grind and blend, transforming meat into sausage or salami. Not magic, but masterful. The perfect sausage will set, with the perfect bite and the salami will reach perfect mouth-feel, when the glue sets, either by cooking or by fermenting. The coagulation of the proteins is irreversible. Not so with the collagen of the membranes, cooking with moisture gelatin is formed it ads juiciness to the sausage, gel when cold and liquefies when warm. The craft is to emulsify it with the meat proteins and the fat in the sausage. Instead you have to eliminate it from the ingredients of the salami, since it is not going to transform during the cold fermentation and if you miss it, you will get it stuck between your teeth. Fat comes in all degrees of soft to hard, depending on the proportion of membranes structuring it. Soft fat will emulsify within the muscle protein “glue”, when activated, aided with water and the gelatin. This is the way to make tasty and juicy sausages. If, instead, the fat itself emulsifies the proteins and moisture, you get smear and big troubles. In salami to preserve the particle definition, secret of the perfect medium in which, the fermenting organisms will thrive, the hard fat needs to be reduced in particles completely immersed in the “glue” of the red muscle proteins. Any crushing of the fat is sure to yield smearing. If you understand the vital role of the “glue”, if you master the art of the right emulsion and understand what causes the dreaded smear, you have a magic wand in your hand. You recognize good quality pork, beautiful meat. You recognize the look and quality of hard fat. You recognize good pork and do not need to rely on a label. You will respect the anatomy, understand the properties of each part and transform each in the best products. You will delight consumers with the best. in Palmer August 8, 2013     June 22 2013   There are two different ways of ruling the process of Salami making in the HACCP world. In this country CCP are PH @5.3 within 72 H and Water /proteins @ 1.9 (Italian Dry) or 2.1 (Genoa). This obviously based on acidic, fast process for the “Genoas” of the Midwest big manufacturers. In the CEE  CCP are Nitrate, nitrite residual and 25 % shrinkage on small calibers and 30 % shrinkage on large ones. This obviously based on mild fragrant quality Salmi Saucissons and Chorizos. The point is , explained by a Swiss friend micro-biologist, Aleardo Zaccheo, that with clean trimmed meats with a “normal’ load of contaminants (listeria e,g,) the fermentation temperature of 20º C, reduces them and they practically disappear with the drying out. PH, he said, anyway is not a very reliable measure.   Now we try to make quality salami with the inadequate USA HACCP. How can we get USDA to create a new category with the European critical points (CCP) instead for those of us dedicated to Quality?   I know that most  escape the USDA inspection and cope with their local rules, but HACCP is here to stay and progressively be applied by all jurisdictions. We cannot develop standards if we stay “under the radar”.   Europeans eat better food and are probably healthier than we are today, their scientist use the same science, that USDA relies on. As usual it is a matter of resources, hopefully some far-sighting professor in one of our enlightened University Food Science department will tackle the job.   United we would get some response.   Charcutiers, Salumieri. Wurstmeister  unite! May 18 / 2013 The two seminars of April and May were a success. Nate’s pork, a total of 20 heads were transformed into pretty good products. Molly got a nice “pâté en croûte” and Iann a very creative “galantine de tête”. The “crespone” and “cacciatori” from April made the delight of May’s lunches. All the apprentices took home a full load of new experience and knowledge. They also got a copy of the manuscript of the book “Charcutier. salumiere. Wurstmeister”. and of the video “Art and Philosophy of producing Quality pork products”.



  Keep an eye on the action On Facebook a growing number of “afficionados” share their experiences, make suggestions or ask questions. The group started with the participants to the first seminar last year, we are more than 700 on May 5th 2014. Want to learn everything, or close, on all the Italian Salumi, even if you don’t quite speak Italian? Watch the videos, one for each type of Salumi in the site :     

10 thoughts on “SEMINARS and Salumi education.

    • Cezar,
      thanks for your request.
      Book and video will be available at the title: “Charcutier. salumiere. Wurstmeister”.
      I am still in the last steps of publishing, probably a few weeks more.

      François Vecchio

  1. Hello Francois, and thank you for being so generous with your knowledge. I was very interested to see you using twine rolled up on small spools. Is it possible to purchase such a thing on line or did you just roll twine around your own spool. I am looking foreward to purchasing your book. If you are ever interested in coming to Alabama, I would be very interested to discussing hosting and event such as the one posted above at my restaurant. Best regards, Collin Donnely

    • Collin,
      yes spooled twine is available in Italy but not here. you will have to cut a 3/8″ dowel and spin the hemp around. Be sure to soak the twine a while before using it.
      Alabama, where? A couple of years ago I helped James Lewis in Birmingham start his “Salumeria”.
      I would be glad to come back.



      • Thanks for the information, why do you reccomend soaking the twine? Also I know James! Also you may know Michael Sullivan from Blackberry Farm? I think he may have assited James as well. I am in Auburn Alabama, about 1 1/2 hour south east of Birmingham. We would love to have you, if you’re interested my email is, and you can contact me there. The restaurant is named “Acre”, and is under construction now but will be completed in September. Thank you for your time.
        Cheers, Collin

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  4. Would you travel to the Midwest and consult with a mid size sausage manufacturer to develop a line of high end salumi products? If so what is your fee structure?

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