Salumi The Craft of Italian Dry Curing

The craft of Italian salumi, now accessible to the American cook, from the authors of the best-selling Charcuterie.

Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn inspired a revival of artisanal sausage making and bacon curing with their surprise hit, Charcuterie. Now they delve deep into the Italian side of the craft with Salumi, a book that explores and simplifies the recipes and techniques of dry curing meats. As the sources and methods of making our food have become a national discussion, an increasing number of cooks and professional chefs long to learn fundamental methods of preparing meats in the traditional way. Ruhlman and Polcyn give recipes for the eight basic products in Italy’s pork salumi repertoire: guanciale, coppa, spalla, lardo, lonza, pancetta, prosciutto, and salami, and they even show us how to butcher a hog in the Italian and American ways. This book provides a thorough understanding of salumi, with 100 recipes and illustrations of the art of ancient methods made modern and new.

Michael Ruhlman has written and coauthored many bestsellers, among them The French Laundry Cookbook and Ratio. He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.


Brian Polcyn is the chef/owner of Forest Grill in Birmingham, Michigan, and a professor of charcuterie at SchoolCraft College in Livonia, Michigan.

The prolific Michael Ruhlman took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of our questions.




Where does your interest in cured meats come form?

It began with my adoration of duck confit and bloomed from there



What was the research and writing process like for this book?

Traveling through Italy reporting and talking and eating, Brian develops recipes tested at his school and I write the text.



Was Salumi an intended follow up to Charcuterie or did this book evolve on it’s own?

Charcuterie was so successful, our editor asked us, begged us to do a  follow-up on salumi.



Were or are there any misconceptions about Italian cured meats that you wanted to dispel?

One, to simplify and clarify what seems like a complex subject, second to give a reliable guide to cooks who wanted to cure their own.



Slightly off topic, can you tell us a little about ‘Schmaltz’?

Schmaltz was an odd little fascination of my general love of fat. it  was a fat i wanted to explore. Donna and I also wanted to experiment  with self-publishing. and we did too well. it was so good a  traditional publisher bought hardcover rights.



What’s next?

Five project cookbook deal with Little Brown which bought schmaltz.  not ready to discuss subject yet!


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