The next leg of our Paganelli Salumi tour took us through their spaces dedicated to fermenting, curing, & drying… The aromas coming from the rooms were unbelievably delicious; heavy with intoxicating aromas of spice, salted pork & fermentation.
The speed at which the gentleman worked was mesmerizing.
The above coppa were then rolled in pepper spice blend and stacked, waiting on a trip to the brine pails. Just one of many points that makes Paganelli`s Salumi stand head and shoulders above the other domestically produced charcuterie on the market, is the fact they import their own Slow Food certified sea salt to cure their meats, to as closely follow the original processes as possible.
Netting, ready to catch some Gentile.
In one of the many chambers in Paganelli`s 3500 square foot facility, they hang rack after rack of their Gentile, Umbro & Cacciatore sausages; first to ferment, and once ready, further along the line to cure & dry.
Cacciatore, hanging in the fermentation room.
After several weeks of carefully monitoring and care, the sausages are ready to be cut and packaged.
Finished salami gentile, after curing & drying.
The last step before seeing the light of day; a protective vacuum sealed sleeve.
Packaged salami Gentile, ready for customers.
There are more than a few surprises hiding in the various rooms of Paganelli`s Salumi; and the below photo is one. We were already huge fans of their flat pancetta`s so we were delighted to see the first batch of the rolled variety. It is ideal for starting a carbonara or an antipasto platter.
Rolled pancetta, ready to debut.
If there is one form of cured meat that really gets this folks that have spent time in kitchens excited, it`s not really meat… it`s fat! This cured & dried lardo is pale ivory in colour, rich and supple as butter, and a beautiful thing to behold. I cannot wait to drape it over a roast, or render some down to start a ragu.
The bin says it all.
The final drying room at Paganelli`s was the most exciting to see. In it, one can start to appreciate the entirety of what these masters are accomplishing. With a great deal of both skill and patience, they guide this wide array of delicious and traditionally prepared meats to the beautiful forms we see at our warehouse.
Coppa, pancetta, proscuitto, lardo, guanciale… The gang is all here.
If there was a place to end this post, it is here… Hiding in the back of the drying room, were two, MASSIVE bone in proscuitto drying. Unfortunately, these beauties probably won`t done for almost a year.
I am considering buying naming rights for these two masterpieces…
A huge thanks is in order to Paganelli`s Salumi, for taking us behind the scenes to see how they work their magic.
Recently we had the great fortune of receiving an invite to visit one of our favourite local suppliers, Paganelli’s Salumi, at their production facility in Toronto.
Pigs not only fear this colour… but also the FONT.
We’ll start our tour on the raw side, then work through the full production, curing and aging process… Ending with delicious & beautiful meats, cured in this wonderful city we call home.
Some of the tools of the trade.
Gabriele Paganelli has appreciated and known the appeal of handmade, locally produced salumi since he was a boy in Italy. After many successful years in the restaurant world of Toronto, Mr Paganelli recently embarked on this venture that could bring his time-honoured style of gastronomy to a wider audience with the start Paganelli`s Salumi.
Cart full of trimmed local pork shoulder and neck, about to begin it`s journey towards being coppa.
Coppa is a whole muscle meat based salumi created primarily using cuts from the shoulder and neck of the hog. The name coppa is Italian for nape, a diminutive of capo ~for all the Soprano`s fans~(head) and collo (neck).
I have spent a lot of time and in restaurants and butcher shops, but I have never seen anyone tie this fast in my life.
The trimmed meat is then expertly lined and tied together, before being rolled in a peppercorn spice rub and prepped curing.
Gorgeous pork legs ready for a good, long saline bath…. maybe with some candles.
So, I have it on good authority that Pagelli’s will have a prosciutto ready for market in 2014… hopefully it won’t take longer, because these legs were MASSIVE.
Pork bellies waiting on some salt, spice & time.
The above pork bellies are waiting on their respective salt & spice rubs… Around half will be spiced & cured in a more savoury northern Italian tradition (a flavour profile often seen in rolled pancetta), and the other will take on the fiery profile of the hot chili flakes they are coated with.
Temperature, humidity, & time… Charcuterie this good takes a lot of patience.
The above instrument gives Gabriele a good deal of the information he need when crafting salumi. However, all it told me was that it was time to move to the rooms where there was finished product… waiting to be tasted….
Gabriele Paganelli of Paganelli Salumi & Elaine Atlin, LFBR President… Both accustom to refrigerated spaces
Next, we’ll travel through the spaces & rooms at Paganelli’s Salumi dedicated to fermenting, aging & drying. And yes, it is awesome there.
written by Daryl in News on Sun, October 20, 2013 | Reply
There have been a spate of recent articles casting a growing spotlight on the massive problem of food waste in North America. This is in part to a somewhat radical concept being launched by Doug Rauch, the former president of massive US-based food retailer Trader Joe’s. Rauchs’ new venture, The Daily Table, is a dual purpose restaurant/retailer that will process “expired food” into nutritious consumer ready meals. The first will be in the Boston area, and will ambitiously tackle two problems at once; reducing our food waste and bringing healthful, affordable meals to some low-income urban food deserts.
A little WWI era wisdom
There have been recent studies that indicate around 90% of Americans (and probably Canadians as well) throw out perfectly good food, and a shocking 40% of food supply goes unused, primarily due to our troublesome food dating systems and consumers ‘delicate’ visual sensibilities. Somewhere around 40 MILLION tons of food gets rejected annually in North America, either in grading, production or ‘expiration’. The photo below is of Grant Baldwin, a Vancouver area filmmaker who ate only clean, wrapped, discarded food for 6 months and recorded his experiences. Their film, Just Eat It , is currently in post-production and slated for a Spring 2014 release.
Lots and lots of `bad` hummus. *Image courtesy of CBC`s The Current*
According to a recent Globe and Mail article by Sylvain Charlebois, Associate Dean at the College of Management & Economics at University of Guelph, this problem is compounded by food manufacturers using best before dating to their advantage. They are in effect, coercing distributors and retailers to manage their inventory on the manufacturers terms, sacrificing food products that are still healthy & nutritious for the sake of increased profitability and simplified production schedules.
Honey; in various states of deliciousness.
A classic example often listed is that of honey, a borderline magical elixir that never truly goes bad. The reasons are in the chemistry of honey; a pH of between 3 – 4.5 and extremely low moisture level do not allow for bacteria to develop. It may crystallize and become rock hard, but that is nothing that a little heat cannot remedy. In fact, the oldest honey ever found was in the country of Georgia, dates to about 5000 years ago, and by all accounts is still quite edible. This begs the questions, why is the honey I purchased yesterday “Best Before” May of 2015… a scant 18 months from now?
Best before? I think not…
The folks at Thrillist compiled some of the dedicated, unenviable, and massively important work being done by the food heroes at Eat By Date into a handy info-graphic… It’s good guide start to put things in your fridge to the ‘smell test’ and do your part to reduce your households food waste.
*Graphic Courtesy of Thrillist*
Now, this is not an open call for everyone to start dumpster diving and going full-bore Freegan. It is just a little nudge to think and sniff twice, and not only reduce your household waste, but also your grocery budget.