While most of us think of the salami as “Jewish” in origin but in actuality its Italian origin goes back to ancient Rome. The word comes from the Italian word “salare” which means “to salt”. Originally salami was made from a mixture of chopped meat and salt that was stuffed into a natural casing and then was air dried. In the days before refrigeration curing meats guaranteed a supply of meat throughout the warmer summer months when spoilage of fresh meat was inevitable.
Salamis are nearly all are seasoned with a combination of herbs and spices in addition to salt. Salamis are now sometimes smoked or cooked before air drying. Most, if not all Italian salamis contain garlic and so do a few German varieties. Some, like a few varieties from Spain, include paprika or chili. All kosher varieties of salami are made with beef or chicken or turkey. The “other” kinds tend to be made of all kinds of trief stuff.
For those of you on cholesterol or salt restricted diets, sorry, regular salami is a BIG no no. Lots of fat, lots of salt. Even the low fat varieties are off limits. I have, however tasted turkey and chicken salami sticks and while not quite as satisfying as the regular kind they are a pretty good substitute.
Tip: With its casing uncut, a whole salami can last for months if stored at a cool room temperature. Once cut, it can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks if tightly wrapped.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.
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