The sole ingredients used to prepare Sibiu Salami are the following:
- pig meat from pigs weighing over 100 kg chosen in red - at least used in the recipe 70%
- fat back from the back - maximum used in the recipe 30%
- Salt-spice mixture (made up of 5% salt - natural spices: pepper, garlic and garlic, preservatives: salt mixed with nitrite or sodium nitrate - according to legal provisions)
Optionally, alcoholic aging agents can be used - one of the following: white wine, red wine, rose wine, cognac, brandy, sparkling wine, black beer.
The following ingredients are not allowed in the manufacture of Sibiu Salami:
The following ingredients are not permitted to use in the production of Sibiu salami:
- – flavor enhancers (e.g. monosodium glutamate);
- – acidifiers (e.g. glucono delta-lactone);
- – coloring agents;
- – added protein (vegetal or animal protein);
- – any other additive that can work as a substitute for meat;
- – sea salt.
The auxiliary products used are hardwoods (beech, oak or mixed in varying proportions beech and oak), whose origin is exclusively of Romania, clips and / or twine, packaging materials and labels.
In the drying-maturation phase, noble mildew crops (Penicillium nalgiovensis) or a mixture of different types of Penicillium, which necessarily contain Penicillium nalgiovensis, are used.
The entire manufacturing process, like the reception of materials and materials, processing (carcass and parts cutting, chopping, filling of membranes, hardwood smoke, sowing with noble mold, maturing and drying), packing and storing must take place in the defined geographical area.
Preparing raw materials:
Pork meat is picked in red by removing entirely soft fat, flax, ligaments, tendons, large blood vessels and bloody parts. The same process is also made for back fat. They are then placed in suitable containers and subjected to drainage, drying (for pork) and curing (both for pork and for bacon). Drainage and drying aim to reduce the moisture of the meat. The duration of this phase is 24 hours to 72 hours. The next operation, the strengthening of the meat and the bacon, is to define the firmness of the raw materials and is carried out at moderate ventilation and at a temperature of (-7 ° C ÷ -2 ° C)
Preparation of ingredients: The salt and spices mix, curing agents and antioxidants are readied and prepared according to the technical specifications.
Obtaining the filling paste: After the correct proportions of pork (minimum 70%) and back fat (maximum 30%) are weighted, the ingredients are introduced into the cutter’s vat, where they are minced to the size of a rice grain (about 2-4 mm). Then the salt and spices mix is manually added, followed by the antioxidants and curing agents, and all these are mixed to obtain a mosaic-like, granular paste. Alcoholic curing agents are optional; if used, they are also added now. The temperature of the filling paste must be between -6° C and 4° C.
The main change occurring in the manufacturing process of Sibiu salami is the hardening of the raw paste into a compact, firm, consistent, and elastic structure. The hardening is due to acidification, salt, and the removal of water, especially in the drying and curing stage.
The salt determines taste by first facilitating fermentation and later drying.
Filling the casing: As preparation, air is removed from the paste, which is then compressed either under a vacuum or with the help of air removal and compression devices. Then, a filling machine injects the paste into natural and/or collagen casings prepared according to the technical specifications. The dosage of the paste and length of the casing are set according to the projected values for the diameter of the sausage and the weight of the end product. The sausages are formed by clipping or manual fastening and are later hung on racks or mobile frames.
Drying and cold smoking: The drying stage is intended to prepare the casings for smoking. This procedure is done for 24 hours, at a minimum temperature of 10° C, under moderate ventilation. Smoking is done to impart flavor to the product and increase its shelf life; the procedure is conducted at a temperature between 9° and 24° C and a relative air humidity of 85-92%, using exclusively hardwood (beech, oak, or a variable proportion mix of the two). The smoking time is three to ten days at the most.
Curing and drying: This is an exceedingly complex process. During this stage the half-finished product gets its final shape, with a firm but elastic consistency, a granular, compact structure, and a taste and smell that are specific to cured meat.
the taste and flavor specific to the Sibiu salami appear now, thanks to the processes of sugar fermentation, protein hydrolysis (free amino acids, peptides) or lipid hydrolysis and oxidization (free fatty acids, carbonyl compounds). Salt, the compounds added by smoking and the spices used in the previous manufacturing steps also contribute to taste and flavor.
The drying and curing takes at least 60 days (the maximum time varies according to sausage thickness), and is done in specially equipped, climate-controlled storage facilities, at a temperature between 8° and 24° C, following the steps below:
- seeding with noble mold:
Noble mold cultures of Penicillium nalgiovensis (mold) are used in this stage; alternatively, a mix of different types of Penicillium can be used, but it must contain Penicillium nalgiovensis.
After manually stocking the drying and curing rooms, the sausages are sprayed with a solution of noble mold spores (Penicillium nalgiovensis or the above-mentioned mix) and are then left to sit for about six hours to settle. After 10-12 days from seeding the sausages are covered in mold mycelia. As the drying process advances, the mycelia grows and consumes nutrients (sugars, proteins, lipids) from the salami paste, releasing metabolic products that impart the sausage its specific flavor.
Moreover, mold plays a positive role by preserving the ruby red color of the salami and prolongs its shelf life by creating a microbiome on the casing that prevents rancidity or the development of contaminant microorganisms. In this stage, the temperature falls between 10° and 24° C.
– salami curing and brushing: between about 25 to 45 days since seeding, when the sausages are fully covered in mold and considering the growth of the mold mycelia, the sausages are manually brushed. The mold that forms toward the end of the curing, in high humidity, is white to yellow-white or off-white. At this stage, the temperature is between 10° and 15° C.
– drying the salami: this last stage of drying and curing is marked by a progressive reduction in the relative air humidity of the drying and curing rooms, as well as by controlled ventilation and temperature. The product is dried until it reaches the standard humidity of maximum 30%. The temperature at this stage is between 10° and 15° C.
The whole production time of the Sibiu salami takes 70 days at a minimum (while the maximum time varies according to the diameter of the sausage), and the end product must fit the physical, chemical, and microbiological characteristics specified under heading 2 above.
Storage: The end product is stored in climate-controlled rooms at a temperature between 0° and 14° C and a humidity of 70-80%.
Slicing and Packaging:
The Sibiu salami is packaged manually or by packaging machines, with the casing covered in noble mold, each individual piece wrapped in permeable, micro-perforated plastic foil.
Sliced Sibiu salami is obtained by removing the casing, then slicing and portioning the sausage into variously sized packages, under a vacuum or in a protective atmosphere, according to customer demand.
For Sibiu Salami, sold in whole gastronomic sticks, slicing can only be done at the time of retail sale, in the sausage department, in the presence of the final buyer.