Cured deli meats

The deli meats maturing process is essentially based on three interconnecting phases: the spreading of salt, the evaporation of water and the variation of acidity. The different preparation techniques are the basis of the division of these matured products into two large categories: those made up from whole anatomic fractions and those based on minced meat. Amongst the first group of matured ‘whole pieces’, we consider the various productions of prosciutto crudo, one of the best known and widespread in Italy and throughout the world, culatello, coppa and pancetta, speck and bresaola, the latter being peculiar because it is made using beef and sometimes horse meat but never pork.

Regarding the minced meat-based matured products, reference is mainly made to salami which, even though having variability in the preparation of the mixture and in maturing conditions, have several technologies and preparation that are common to all deli meats: following the preparation of the mixture, it is filled into natural or artificial gut casings and left to mature in appropriate thermo-hygrometric conditions.