Jun 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm #1260200
Should I be able to find salami that doesn't need to be refrigerated at the local market or is there a better place to find it? Will I need to check labels or is there an easier way to figure out if it needs to be refrigerated? I only need it to last a couple days. Thx.Jun 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm #1620413
Summer sausage will keep a lot longer without refrigeration.
–B.G.–Jun 15, 2010 at 6:07 pm #1620419
I'd be willing to try that. My main concern is where do I find these items? Local grocery store? I haven't really used these food items before for backpacking or otherwise, so I don't know where to find them.Jun 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm #1620421
Dry Salami keep s pretty well without refrigeration. I've used it backpacking for years.
Be aware that it does have a very strong scent, which may attract bears and other critters, while repelling your friends!Jun 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm #1620430
Any dried, air-cured, or fermented meat will keep longer than most American grocery store shoppers would imagine. That stuff was invented way before refrigerators for a reason. Pretty much anything in a casing that is not obviously raw I guess would be a rule of thumb. Dried stuff is usually easy to distinguish from cooked but moist stuff. Stick with harder, drier stuff in the hot summer–same with cheeses–just so they don't melt and ooze. When the temps drop, you can bring almost anything if it's just a weekend. Boars Head makes some great products that grocery stores here carry (GA). If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they carry Columbus brand which is a real treat. Don't worry about some white mold on the outside–that's normal and you'll see some really good stuff sold that way–just wipe it off or eat it. Peel the casings if you want–some are almost invisibly thin and you just eat, others are like a tire–you'll know the difference.
Unless I'm carrying a whole sausage and a knife, I often get the grocery deli to slice whatever I want, separating meal-sized portions for me with layers of plastic film as they stack it. I can slap them on bread or tortillas or just eat them plain without getting my hands greasy (or the food dirty).
I know this is pretty scary sounding, but lately I have been buying pre-sliced salami and pepperoni at the local dollar store. They come in individual packs (Starkist tuna packs too). Not high quality meats, of course, but perfect for trail lunches since the sealed packaging helps reduce odors. Get used to eating this way and you can leave your stove and fuel at home. Chocolate covered espresso beans can replace coffee if you are a caffeine addict.Jun 15, 2010 at 7:00 pm #1620433
I have been using salami for years backpacking.. I can usually have it for 3-4 days on a trip. By a stick of salami and you should be ok. Here's a question, have you ever been in a grocery store and saw salami not refrigerated? I do all the time.Jun 15, 2010 at 7:10 pm #1620435
I see that unrefrigerated salami all the time. But my question is, once you open it and expose it to the air (or more precisely the bacteria and other microorganisms floating around) doesn't its shelf life then become MUCH shorter? Because really, we refrigerate a lot of stuff only to inhibit the growth of bacteria, correct? Or did I sleep through my biology class WAY too much and miss the boat on this topic?Jun 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm #1620437
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"Be aware that it does have a very strong scent, which may attract bears and other critters"
Indeed. I'd say you're really leading with your chin if you take salami in bear country.Jun 15, 2010 at 7:21 pm #1620438
Don't worry about taking some salami or summer sausage into bear country. The bears will be happy to help you take care of it. The problem will be after you eat some of it, and you will have salami odor around your camp, and you will have it on your fingers. Fine. You can wash up, but the bears will smell it after you don't anymore.
I have some little 2-oz turkey sausages, so I carry them in a ziploc bag, use them one at a meal, and keep the bag closed the rest of the time. So far, the bears have not attacked me, but it is only a matter of time…
–B.G.–Jun 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm #1620451
@umnakLocale: Southeast Alaska
Yes, for goodness sakes don't take dry salami into "bear" country. And don't take sharp cheddar, homemade soup mix with a lot of seasoning, tapenade for the flat tortillas and certainly not sticks of butter….
Wait, that was most of our menu last week as we paddled up and down Lynn Canal in Brown Bear Country.
Put it all in an OPsak and call it good. Breath a little, you will probably get mugged before a bear steals your salami.Jun 15, 2010 at 8:09 pm #1620455
Umnak–I love your photos.
Earlier this year I accidentally left a half pound of mortadella and some very stinky, aged provalone in my trunk overnight where there was a known "problem bear". I'm lucky my car didn't get trashed, but he did terrorize my campsite (about a mile away) for a while.
edit to add–I forgot to mention that another BPL'er recently showed me how he uses mini sausages available at minimus.biz to make gumbo with minute rice, tabasco, and garlic powder. Simple and really outstanding.Jun 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm #1620467
"Here's a question, have you ever been in a grocery store and saw salami not refrigerated? I do all the time."
This is actually what caused my confusion. I've always seen it refrigerated. Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I'll head over to Trader Joe's tomorrow to pick some up. I'll be hiking Shasta this weekend…I don't think bears will be a problem where I'm going.
Another question. Would pepperoni last similar to salami?Jun 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm #1620469
@umnakLocale: Southeast Alaska
I do tend to forget that here we are moving along where brown bears have always lived and, though certainly have suffered at the hands of humans, whose land it is, not ours.
BTW, we also brought three packages of smoked salmon.Jun 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm #1620481
My sentiments exactly on whose land it is. You are really fortunate to have such a backyard to play in / kitchen to eat in.
To the question about refrigerated/unrefrigerated salami in stores–where I live they refrigerate many items that don't need to be, prob so people will think of it as safe and buy it. Not necessary, but it prob does extend the shelf life some too and prevent that one in a million sick lawyer. If something is seriously foul, your nose and eyes will scream. If you think it's ok, but aren't sure simply bc it doesn't look like on the box or commercial, you'll be fine. Amazing how our senses can protect us better than a warning label–lol.
Oh, and pepperoni falls in that great hard cured meat category. Lasts for ages, but has some fat so it might weep a little oily grease if it's really hot. Nothing to worry about.
edit–Some great dried, ground, seasoned pork products that we collectively call "salami" here in the US are soppressata (more of a coarse ground meat–poor examples at grocery stores but still good) and finocchiona (seasoned with fennel seeds). Also dried beef–bresoala is great. You can find these at specialty stores and online. Trader Joes might even have them.Jun 15, 2010 at 10:24 pm #1620497
@erdferkelLocale: S. California
Those and a few pitas are the best for the first couple of lunches.
Basically, bacteria and molds need a certain amount of moisture to grow, so the drier and greasier the cheese or salami the more resistant…Jun 16, 2010 at 1:48 am #1620521
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Why do you think the Europeans invented salami? To preserve meat without refrigeration of course.
The same applies to cheese: to preserve the guts of it over winter.
Whether the sorts of 'salami' you can buy in America actually qualify as real salami – that I do not know.
cheersJun 16, 2010 at 8:49 am #1620574
Brian, nice knowledge on Italian cured meats. Bresoala is fantastic! As for having salame in the backcountry. I have done alot of my trips between Yosemite and SEKI and I have never, ever had a problem with bears wanting to eat it. In fact I have only seen 2 bears in 15 years……..Jun 16, 2010 at 9:38 am #1620582
"2 bears in 15 years"
You have to get into the backcountry more. My rate is to see 1-3 black bears per year in Yosemite. Last weekend, a birdwatcher in Sequoia-Kings counted eleven different bears in two days. They were all out searching for salami.
–B.G.–Jun 16, 2010 at 10:14 am #1620593
Bob, I am the anti bear. My hiking partners laugh that every trip we take, we don't see any bears. I have camped in some high bear traffic areas over the years and it has just worked out that way…Maybe that is a good thing???Jun 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm #1620695
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"As for having salame in the backcountry. I have done alot of my trips between Yosemite and SEKI and I have never, ever had a problem with bears wanting to eat it."
There's a lesson in there somewhere, Ken. ;)Jun 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm #1620700
I would watch the very high calorie pepperoni. In heat it gets oily and downright disgusting. It took me over 6 months to be able to eat pepperoni again.
Ken, I'm going on 5 years and have only two bears in the wild. I will have to take some salami on my next trip and watch the bears line up to sample.
When I hiked the SHR last year I broke a container of honey all over my food when I dropped my food bag from a hang. I couldn't believe that we didn't have all the Sierra bears converge on our site the following night.Jun 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm #1620703
"Bob, I am the anti bear. My hiking partners laugh that every trip we take, we don't see any bears. I have camped in some high bear traffic areas over the years and it has just worked out that way…Maybe that is a good thing???"
If you are knocking out 20 miles per day, you don't have any time in the evening for fooling around with bears or their antics. OTOH, on some trips I have gone in 8-10 miles to camp, and then I am wandering around with the camera looking for some good wildlife to photograph. I know where they are.
–B.G.–Jun 17, 2010 at 8:36 am #1620913
Bob, I am more of a 10-13 miles a day guy…sometimes even less…if hiking with my wife….Last bear encounter was 2008 in Tenaya Canyon. A juvenile bear got into one of my hiking buddies cannister that he left opened by accident. He hung out for a good portion of the evening looking for more food.
I just don't see bears…maybe that will change in the future, I dunnoJun 17, 2010 at 10:20 am #1620945
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
You can definitely find salami or sausages in hermetically sealed plastic vacuum-wrap, if you look for it. PackitGourmet sells such an Italian sausage that I thought was quite adequate, wrapped in a flour tortilla.
Granted the plastic packaging is most significant for limiting smells since, as others have said, a dry salami will keep for a very long time. That's why it was invented- it contains a lot of salt as a preservative.Jun 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm #1620987
@philipdLocale: Ontario, Canada
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