Casa Italia® Salami Cacciatore
I love trying new things that appear in food shops and I was intrigued by this particular variety of Salami because of the descriptive name ‘Cacciatore’. In particular, I wondered if there was some connection to the traditional Italian dish ‘Chicken Cacciatore’.
As it happens, despite the Italian brand name and logo, the sausage appears to be manufactured in Canada. Moreover, it is made from pork, not chicken, and while it is actually pretty good, I have to conclude the ‘Cacciatore’ connection is entirely fanciful…
The ingredients are listed as being:
Pork, salt, whey protein powder, dextrose, sugar, spices, sodium erythorbate, lactic acid starter culture, garlic, potassium nitrate, sodium nitrite
The sausage is described as being ‘dry-cured’ and, as you can see, as with all ‘Salami’, the product undergoes a lactic acid fermentation to achieve the finished taste.
The sausage is quite hard and very dense. The ingredients lists only specifies ‘spices’, in addition to garlic, but the label says ‘Hot’ right beneath the name, and the presence of chilli is very evident in the color.
The texture is really quite pleasing. I find many of the ‘hard’ varieties of sausage are either too hard to chew, very waxy, or else quite greasy. This product manages to find a very good balance in all aspects. It is chewy, in a satisfying way, and provides just enough fat to yield a nicely unctuous smoothness.
As for the taste, it has a good ‘meaty’ quality and the heat is actually quite moderate (somewhere on the mild to ‘not-too-hot’ level of spicy heat one aims for when ordering Buffalo Wings, for example). I think it would go nicely with cubes of provolone, or a more pungent cheese, and maybe with a nice, sour pickle of some sort. However, the one thing that would make me purchase this sausage again is for inclusion in a cooked dish (a variety of Jambalaya, perhaps), as this sort of sausage would stand up well to cooking and could be used anywhere that one would employ, say, a good, spicy Chorizo…