Salami is a treated sausage made up of air-dried and fermented meat, usually pork. Historically, this sausage was very popular among Central, Eastern, and Southern European peasants; the main reason was because it could be stored for a maximum of forty days once cut, complementing a hypothetically inconsistent or meager fresh meat supply. Salami first originated from Italy and its’ name is derived from the Italian name ‘salare’ which means, making something salty. But have you ever wondered how long can salami sit out?
Originally, salami was made by mixing salt and chopped pork which was then dried using air in a case. Muslims aren’t allowed to eat this salami since it’s made from pork. However, there are many varieties available presently in various countries; they are all seasoned using a combination of spices and herbs in addition to salt. Salamis are presently cooked or smoked before being air dried. Some salamis are made using beef, while other varieties using a combination of pork and beef.
Most Italian salamis if not all are mixed with garlic, but even few German salamis will be combined with the same. Other salamis, for instance from Spain, will also be mixed with chili or paprika. The only difference in these salamis is how fine or coarse the beef or pork is chopped. A different variety known as "light" salami” will be combined with chicken or turkey to reduce calories and fat.
Most salamis are named after the region or city where they originate, for example, Milano, Hungarian, Genoese, Arles salamis.
How Long Can Salami Sit Out?
Once you have sliced your salami, the protective casing against harmful bacteria is broken, meaning that the bacteria can invade the sausage easily. Once salami has been sliced, it’s very easy for bacteria to penetrate it. However, salami can be allowed to sit for approximately two hours at room temperature. If you leave it for longer than two hours upon cutting, it’s not a good idea to put it back in the fridge anymore.
Shell Life of Unopened Salami/ Whole Salami
If your salami is dried and it lacks the “keep refrigerated” label, this means that it’s a variety that is shelf-stable. A lacking label means that as long as the case is intact and uncut, then you can refrigerate it safely for several years, though the Department of Agriculture in the United States recommends that you limit the shelf life to 6 weeks.
If your salami is dried and unopened, it can sit out in a fridge for approximately 6 months; whether it is beef, veal or pork salami, as long as it’s properly dried and unopened, consuming it within six months is considered safe. The preservation process that is done for salamis makes it very long-lasting, giving it a reasonable shelf life.
What Safety Precautions are taken When Preserving Salami?
When preserving salami, lactic acid & sodium nitrate bacteria, salt and air drying are used in the preservation process, killing all harmful bacteria. However, because salami hasn’t been cooked, it’s recommended that pregnant women, young children, individuals with weakened immune systems, and older adults should avoid eating salami.
Tell Tale Signs that Salami Has Gone Bad You can always tell that your salami has gone bad from its’ appearance and smell; if the salami has a slimy surface, an off appearance or pungent smell, then you need to discard it immediately.
Is there any Salami that Doesn’t Need Refrigeration? Dry or hard salami (for instance Genoa and pepperoni salami), unopened and whole, can be let to sit out indefinitely, as long as it’s refrigerated or for 6six weeks in a pantry.
Different Types of Salami
There are various varieties of salami, not necessarily the “Italian sausage” as many people imagine, but some of the most popular ones:
- Cacciatore Cacciatore salami in Italian literally means “hunter style”; this one is smaller in size as compared to other salamis, meaning that it’s portable to be consumed by consumers on the go. It’s made using ground pork which is mixed with various spices and herbs for flavor.
- Napoletano This salami is stereotypically from Naples, and it’s made using pork meat that is heavily spiced with black and red wine. Additionally, it’s seasoned with garlic, salt, and in some instances, white wine.
- Lardo The Lardo salami is made using pork, mainly the back-fat part, which is mainly cured using rosemary herbs.
- Prosciutto Prosciutto salami is made from cured ham (pork) and it’s usually seasoned prior to cooking.
- Capicola/ Capocollo Capicola salami is made using the neck or head parts of a pig, and it’s usually treated, then treated with herbs and spices, and in some instances, some wine. It basically has a tender texture and very great for sandwiches.
- Genoa salami This salami variety is made traditionally from veal and pork meat, and it’s seasoned typically with red wine, pepper and garlic.
- Pancetta Pancetta salami was traditionally made using pork belly, and it’s seasoned with spices and herbs and seasoned with salt.
- Soppressata This salami is mainly made from pressed meat parts, i.e., tongue, stomach, and belly, and it is seasoned using various herbs and spices, which vary across various regions.
Whereas salami is mainly eaten in the uncooked form, it isn’t really raw. It isn’t uncooked but it isn’t raw; cured or treated salami undergoes a similar [process to the one that aging cheese