Finocchiona is a type of salami characterized by the aroma of fennel, used as seeds and/or flowers, and by the soft consistency of the slice which sometimes tends to crumble. This salami comes in a variety of sizes, from 0.5 kg to up to a maximum of 25 kg. The meat is has a medium-coarse grain (4.5mm and 8mm) without well-defined borders.
Finocchiona is traditionally made of the following pork cuts: boneless, trimmed shoulder, trimmed ham, lean belly meat, coppa/pork neck, pork belly fat, pork cheeks.
Finocchiona PDO description specifies the following seasonings per 100 kg of meat:
- Salt – between 2.5 and 3.5 kg (2.5% – 3.5%);
- Ground pepper – between 50 and 100 grams (0.05% – 0.1%);
- Peppercorns (cracked and/or whole) – between 150 and 400 grams (0.15% – 0.4%);
- Dehydrated garlic – between 50 and 100 grams (0.05% – 0.1%);
- Fennel seeds and/or fennel flowers – between 200 and 500 grams (0.2% – 0.5%).
Nitrates and starter cultures are also permitted.
Finocchiona is stuffed in natural casings and subjected to intensive drying which is the period during which there is the most marked dehydration. To achieve this result, the Finocchiona is kept in rooms with a temperature between 64F (12C) and 77F (25C). Once the drying phase is over, the maturing phase begins, which is carried out with temperatures between 52F (11C) and 64F (18C) and relative humidity between 65% and 90%.
Maturing duration depends on the size of the salami:
- 0. 5 – 1 kg – a minimum of 15 days
- 1 – 6 kg – a minimum of 21 days
- 6 – 25 kg – a minimum of 45 days
Since I have several other types of salami in my curing chamber, I am going to use a slightly different drying/maturing schedule which I used for making the other types.
For drying my salami (75mm – 110mm), I used the following schedule:
|Dripping||14 hours||77F (25C)||< 99 %|
|Drying||17 hours||73F (23C)||75-85 %|
|Drying||24 hours||71F (22C)||68-78 %|
|Drying||24 hours||68F (20C)||65-75 %|
|Drying||24 hours||64F (18C)||68-78 %|
|Drying||24 hours||61F (16C)||72-82 %|
|Drying||24 hours||59F (15C)||76-86 %|
After drying, the salami went into the meat curing chamber where it will slowly mature at 55F – 57F (13C – 14C) and 80% – 84% for 3+ months. Note the higher humidity level here.
The starting pH was at 5.79, which dropped to about 5.10 by the end of the 7th day.
I expect the pH to continue dropping a little lower over the following 3 days, level off and gradually come back up a little.
Salami weight loss progress
Below is the weight loss progress of my 90mm and 110mm salami using the new drying technique.
|#1 (80mm)||Weight, g||Loss, g||Loss, %|
|3 days||1,360||151||9.9 %|
|5 days||1,305||206||13.6 %|
|7 days (end of drying)||1,274||237||15.7 %|
|12 days||1,215||246||19.6 %|
|23 days||1,120||391||25.9 %|
|1 Month||1,082||424||28.4 %|
|#2 (115mm)||Weight, g||Loss, g||Loss, %|
|3 days||2,258||176||7.2 %|
|5 days||2,179||255||10.5 %|
|7 days (end of drying)||2,133||301||12.4%|
|12 days||2,041||393||16.1 %|
|23 days||1,903||531||21.8 %|
|1 Month||1,846||588||24.2 %|
This post will be updated with taste notes and final product pictures once maturing is complete. Be sure to subscribe to not miss the updates.
- 750 g lean pork boneless, trimmed shoulder, trimmed ham, lean belly meat, coppa/pork neck
- 250 g pork belly fatty part
- 25.5 g sea salt
- 2.5 g Cure #2
- 2.25 g dextrose
- 0.12 g T-SPX culture
- 60 ml distilled water
- 10 ml red wine good Tuscan red wine
- 0.75 g garlic powder for infusing wine only, removed after infusion
- 4 g fennel seeds wild fennel seeds or a combination of fennel seeds and fennel pollen are recommended.
- 2 g black pepper coarsley ground
- Rehydrate the starter culture in 60 ml distilled water. (see notes)
- Weigh the lean meat and the pork belly in grams. Calculate the rest of the ingredients, except the distilled water which will remain the same (see notes), weigh them out and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, Cure #2 and dextrose.
- Cut the lean and the fatty pork into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle the salt mixture over the meat and mix well. Freeze for 20 minutes.
- Grind through a 3/16″ (4.5mm) grinder plate.
- Combine the ground pork with seasonings, dextrose, and starter culture. Mix well, until sticky.
- Stuff into 70-110 mm natural casings (beef bungs) and tie into 10"-12" links.
- Using a sterilized needle or sausage pricker, prick holes across the entire salami.
- Weigh the salami, write down its weight on a tag and attach the tag to the salami.
- If desired, inoculate with mold.
- Use the leftover meat from the stuffer/stuffing tube to make a small sample for measuring the initial pH and the pH at later stages. Make sure to record the readings.
- Dry at 59F - 77F (15C - 25C) and 65% - 86% RH for a period of 7 days as per the drying protocol above. Measure the pH, it should be below 5.3 at this point.
- Mature in the curing chamber at 55F - 57F (13C - 14C) and 80% - 84% for about 3 months.
- Alternative curing method
- Ferment salami at 68F-70F for three days to get the pH below 5.3.
- Cure at the standard 55F-57F and 75% RH until 35% weight loss is obtained.