Monday, April 11, 2011

Danish Sausage and Meat Cures - part 13

Salami.—Use 50 lbs. of beef free from fibre, 25 lbs. of
lean pork, 25 lbs. of fat pork; chop very fine and add
18½ oz. Salt, 4½ oz. ground white pepper, 1½ oz. saltpetre,
with 8 glasses of Rhine wine, in which previously has been
soaked about 1 lb. of garlic; in place of Rhine wine, rum
may be used. Stuff in calves' bladders. Let them hang in
the open air for 2 or 3 weeks, then smoke 12 days.

Salami de Verona.—
18 lbs. cleaned beef.
18 lbs. lean pork.
14 lbs. back fat.
2 lbs. salt.
1 oz. powdered saltpetre.
3 oz. white pepper.
3 oz. pure cane sugar.
1 gill old French Cognac.

First mince the meat, then chop the fat in amongst it
the size of beech-nuts, then mix in the spices, and chop
until the fat is the size of peas. Wipe the knife often
while mincing. Three sticks of garlic finely grated, may be
added. Use skins for holding this, and bind with pretty
thick string all the way over. For the rest, prepare like
Cervelat sausage, but do not smoke, only let the salami
hang for four to five weeks to dry.

Salicylic Acid.—A powerful antiseptic powder made
from the oil of wintergreen and the oil of sweet birch, and
also largely manufactured artificially from carbolic acid, to
which antiseptic it is closely allied. It was at one time very
largely used for preserving different kinds of foods, wines,
jams, etc., but owing to its irritant effects the use of it in
this way is now discouraged. [no longer GRAS - use prohibited everywhere - SI]

Salinometer.—A glass apparatus, somewhat resembling
a thermometer, for determining the density of
brines or pickles. There is a scale, varying
from 0 to 100 on the stem, and the lower
bulb is loaded with either shot or mercury.
The centre and larger bulb is simply an air-
vessel for keeping the salinometer afloat. The
instrument takes the place, and has superseded
the old-fashioned and inaccurate method of
determining the density of brine or pickle by
floating a pig's foot or a potato on it—a system
manifestly open to great inaccuracy.

Sal Prunella.—see Saltpetre.

Salt.—Chloride of calcuim, usually designated
"common salt" to distinguish it from the great
list of other salts, is equally soluble in both hot
and cold water. The origin, nature, composi-
tion, and mode of production are usually not
much thought of, but, all the same, it takes a
high place in the civilisation of man. Civilised
man has been defined as a cooking animal,
although this carries a reproach as well as a
compliment, as cooking usually destroys some-
thing like seventy per cent. of the natural salts in meat.
These must, therefore, be re-instated in some form or other,
and this is usually done by adding mineral salt. It is to
the use of salt in dietetics and cooking that man must attri-
bute many of the comforts of his civilised condition.
Besides the large use to which salt is put in preparing
food, it also bulks largely in many other articles. Civilised
man desires to be clothed, salt is used in preparing the
materials from which his shirts and shoes are made. He
desires to be clean, salt enters into the composition of his
soap. He desires to have light, and obtains gas by the aid
of salt. He desires to have the products of the innumerable
industries which grow out of civilisation, and by which civi-
lisation grows, and in nearly all of them, salt, or the
alkalies made from salt, are used.

Rock salt is found to a greater or lesser degree in most
countries, and a common method of procuring salt is to
evaporate it from sea water. The formation of salt rock
beds seems to be caused by the long-continued evaporation
of inland lakes without outlets—such as the present-day
lakes known as the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake of
Utah. These lakes are fed by streams, which dissolve salt
out of the soil and the mineral strata over which they flow,
and deposit the same at the bottom of the lake. The
Cheshire and other English deposits have evidently been
formed in this way in the dim and distant ages, and the
thickness of the deposits vary from 50 to 150 feet. From
the Cheshire mines alone something like two to two and a
quarter millions tons of salt are taken per annum; the
common method of extraction being to let water into the
mines, then pump out the brine formed, and evaporate
same in crystallising vats. At Cardona, in Spain, some
hills rising to a height of from 400 to 500 feet are entirely
composed of salt; while the famous city of the salt mines
in Galicia has everything required by a modern city, such
as tramways, lighting, water system, etc., underground, and
boasts a population of over 1000. A peculiar fact about
this underground town is that the average longevity exceeds
that of the surface population. In some of the mines of
Galicia, salt has been mined to a depth of 12,000 feet.

Salt enters largely into the preservation of meat and
general provisions, and recipes giving the quantities which
ought to be used will be found in such articles as Bacon
Curing, Preserving Beef, Pickle Pork, etc. It is also largely
used in the dairy for butter salting, etc. In short, its uses
are manifold, for as rare old Ben Jonson wrote :—

"Take a pinch of salt, There's nothing like it for good health."

The different kinds of salt in common use are known by
various names, such as common salt, butter salt, fishery
suit, handed squares, factory-filled, sifted, and treble-refined.
These names represent kinds of salts, and there are sub-
divisions of these kinds, bearing different names, descriptive
of grain and quality. The handed square is an oblong block
of salt prepared by drawing the salt out of the evaporating
pans and putting it into tubs perforated with holes, from
which the surplus moisture drains, and the blocks are then
taken out of the tubs and wheeled into a hot-house to be
baked hard or stoved. The finest and purest salt, such as
is generally used at the table, is made from blocks of salt,
which are taken from the hot-house to a mill, and sifted into
a fine powder by machinery for the purpose.

Salting Pork (American style).—Cover the bottom
of the barrel with one inch of salt; pack down one layer
of pork and cover with one inch of salt. Continue this
until the barrel is nearly full, or all the pork packed, then
cover with a strong brine. The meat should be packed
as tight as possible, the rind side down or next to the barrel,
and always covered with brine. Weight the meat down
if necessary. If scum arises, pour off the brine. Scald it,
add more salt, and pour it back over the meat, examining
beforehand if any soft rind is in the barrel. Old brine can
be boiled down, and if well skimmed can be used again.

Salting Pork Ribs.—see Pork Ribs.

Salt Meat Trays.—Trays made of wood for handling
salt or pickled meat. It will readily be understood that,
owing to the presence of so much salt, any corrosive material
in the trays would be unsuitable; the presence of the
moisture from the pickle also causes the wood to swell,
and thus makes tight joints.

Salt Meat Tray.
These trays are made in different sizes; but those usually
found as stock sizes are 30 in. x 18 in., 32 in. x 19 in.,
33 in. x 21 in. Of course any size can be made to order,
as it is ordinary carpenter's work.

Saltpetre (Potassium Nitrate, KN03), also called Nitre.—
A white crystalline salt, and usually crystallises in
striated six-sided rhombic prisms. It is easily soluble in
water, the solution having a cool saline taste. The specific
gravity is 1.925 to 1.975. It melts at a temperature of
560° P., and ignites at red heat.

Saltpetre is mentioned as far back as the eighth century,
and called sal-petras, from the fact of the crystals being
found on walls. Amongst the ancients Egypt was famous
for nitre, and there was a manufactory there. At the
present time it is found principally in East India, where
the district of Tirhut, in Bengal, is the most important one
in this repect, and whence nearly all the natural saltpetre
still manufactured is derived. Small deposits have been
found in Persia, Hungary, Kentucky, and other places; but
such finds have not been of more than local importance.
The raw material occurs only occasionally in real strata or
nests. It is mostly a product, continually re-formed by the
action of atmospheric air upon nitrogenous organic matter,
in the presence of such bases as lime, magnesia, and potash.
The organic nitrogen is not simply oxidised by atmospheric
oxygen ; the process of "nitrification" is accomplished by
certain microbes. Whether the presence of ammonia is a
necessary link remains an open question. The process of
"nitrification" is much more intense in hot countries, where
it is promoted by the abundance of suitable organic matter,
and by the moist warm atmosphere. In Bengal, saltpetre
is collected by a special caste of natives, the "Sora-wallahs"
(salt gatherers), who scrape off the surface of the uppermost
layers of soil which shows a white efflorescence. Davy
gives as an analysis of Bengal earth 8.3 per cent. potassium
nitrate. The earth is washed with water in earthenware
dishes, or very often in pits dug in the ground and puddled
with clay. The liquor is concentrated, very often by solar
heat alone, and a crop of crude saltpetre thus obtained.
From the East Indies there is annually exported about
25,000 tons of crude or rough saltpetre, about 10,000 tons
of which come to the British Isles. This crude saltpetre
contains a lot of impurities, principally sulphides, which are
removed by a careful process of refining, leaving the refined
saltpetre. The principal brand of English refined Bengal
saltpetre is the well-known brandram's brand, which is a
remarkably pure and well-refined article.

Saltpetre is principally used in the manufacture of ex-
plosives, and for curing meat; while it is also used in
medicines, as a flux in assaying, and for many minor pur-
poses. A large quantity of saltpetre is now made on the
Continent by artificial means. In this method nitrate of
soda is decomposed with muriate of potash. The initiation
of this process was due to the greatly increased demand
caused by the Crimean War, and it is now carried on in a
large way at Sassfurt, in Germany, where muriate of potash
is found native to the soil. This artificially made saltpetre
is used to a considerable extent for explosives; but does
not seem to possess the qualities for curing purposes that
the refined Bengal saltpetre is renowned for. Sal prunella
is a concentrated form of saltpetre, obtained by thoroughly
fusing and getting rid of any latent moisture, after which it
is moulded into cakes of usually 2 ozs. and 4 ozs. each.
It is preferred by some persons to saltpetre for use in meat

Sardine Liver Sausage.—see Liver Sausage.

Saster.—see Westphalian Sausage.