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Re: [Apicius] salted meat longevity

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  • Andrew Fenton
    As an amateur charcutier who is fanatical about food safety, this strikes me as a case in which historical accuracy should probably take a backseat to safety.
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 6, 2010
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      As an amateur charcutier who is fanatical about food safety, this strikes me
      as a case in which historical accuracy should probably take a backseat to
      safety. There are lots of good references out there that have to do with
      preserving meats (I've listed a couple at the end), but much as I like
      Apicius and Cato, I wouldn't take my cues from them. That said, here are my
      thoughts on a few options:

      Corned beef is probably a bad idea. The sort of corned beef we buy (or
      make- it's not hard) today has a high water content and won't last on a
      hike. I wouldn't even consider keeping it out at room temperature for more
      than a few hours before cooking.

      Salt beef (as mentioned with reference to Master and Commander) would last
      on a hike. However, it's impractical: it has to be soaked in several
      changes of water over the course of a day in order for it to be edible. I
      don't know how you'd manage that on a hike; and dumping a whole bunch of
      salt water at your campsite strikes me a nasty thing to do, unless you're
      pretending to be the Romans at Carthage. Moreover, I don't know where you'd
      buy salt beef; it's not eaten much nowadays- from Patrick O'Brien, it sounds
      pretty nasty. Salt cod (baccala) is widely available and is delicious, but
      presents the same problems of water use as does beef.

      Dry-cured sausages (salami and so forth) are a good bet. Buy one that is
      sold and stored at room temperature and you'll be fine. Beef jerky isn't to
      my knowledge Roman, but it will last indefinitely, and is easy to make
      yourself. Always a good bet for camping.

      Two good charcuterie references (for food safety, and for preservation) are
      Ruhlman and Polcyn, _Charcuterie_
      Marianski and Marianski, _The Art of Making Fermented Sausages_

      Good luck, and enjoy your trek!

      Andrew

      On Sun, Jun 6, 2010 at 5:23 AM, Julien Courtois <
      julien.courtois@...> wrote:

      >
      >
      > Hello
      >
      > You may want to check the Wikipedia article on curing :
      >
      > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curing_%28food_preservation%29
      >
      > Salt is one possibility, but you may want to try sugar too (Apicius 1.8) :
      >
      > � How to keep meat fresh whenewer you like without salt : any meat you want
      > to keep fresh should be covered with honey, so long as the vesse lis hung up
      > ; you can use it when you like. This is better done in winter ; in summer i
      > twill last only a few days. You may do the same with cooked meat.�
      > (translation from the book of Christopher Grocock an Sally Grainger)
      >
      > There are more preseving recipes in Apicius 1.9 to 1.14.
      >
      > Preservation with Nitrates and nitrites is (I think) a more modern way of
      > preservation. If somebody could check that.
      >
      > As you are saying that you go on a treck, there is the excellent book on
      > Roman military food : � Panis Militars/Die Ern�hrung des R�misches
      > Soldaten/Marcus Junkelmans�, in German only!
      >
      > If you�re doing your own salted meat, please use common sense and throw it
      > away if it�s smelling funny !! (But there are already a ton of commercial
      > products)
      >
      > Be aware that salting meat needs a lot of time (6 months to 2 years !!!
      > Information taken from the French and German Wikipedia on salting
      > http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einsalzen and
      > http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salaison )
      >
      > Hope that helps !
      >
      > Julien
      >
      > De : Apicius@yahoogroups.com <Apicius%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:
      > Apicius@yahoogroups.com <Apicius%40yahoogroups.com>] De la part de richard
      > robinson
      > Envoy� : jeudi 3 juin 2010 07:40
      > � : Apicius@yahoogroups.com <Apicius%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Objet : [Apicius] salted meat longevity
      >
      >
      > Hi
      > some of us australian romans are planning a five day trek in our springtime
      > (October)
      > and are discussing how long corned beef keep before it goes wrong- and
      > other meats also.
      > If we pack it in salt does that preserve it enough?
      > Hungry for Info
      > Richard
      >
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