To celebrate this week’s publication of Salumi, my and Brian Polycn’s deeper quest into the craft of dry-curing meat, I’m giving away three copies signed by both me and Brian to three commenters on this post.

For those who aren’t clear on the definition (and Italians don’t make things easy), salumi refers to Italian cured or preserved meats—mostly dry-cured, and mostly made from pig parts—everything from guanciale to mortadella to prosciutto. Salami, with an A rather than a U, are dry-cured sausages and are one of the many preparations that salumi comprises.

My aim, as in much of my cookbook work, is to simplify what seems to be complicated. When I walked into my first salumeria, I was astonished by the variety available. Case upon case of salumi, whole sections devoted to different kinds of lardo, different types of prosciutto, and so many styles of salami the mind boggled. It was like entering a pork version of Willy Wonka’s candy factory.

But the fact is that all of salumi is easily divided into eight basic subcategories, and once you break it down this way, this ancient craft is welcoming.

In Salumi, we describe these eight categories, give eight fundamental preparations for each, then go on to give 100 recipes that are all variations on the Big Eight. There are instructive illustrations on how to break down the pig specifically for salumi cuts (how to capture the entire coppa, or neck muscle, usually bisected in American-style butchery, for instance). There are color photography inserts of Brian’s finished salumi. And the final section of the book includes recipes for dishes that use salumi (we know not everyone wants to dry-cure their own ham or make salami, but today excellent salumi is for sale across the country)—such as Chickpea, Roasted Garlic, and Guanciale Salad, Vegetable Soup with Acini di Pepe and Pancetta, and Cotechino with Lentils. And even a real pizza with real salami on it.

There’s been an extraordinary resurgence in the craft of preserving meats, once a necessity for a community’s survival, now practiced because it creates food like no other. Embraced by chefs and home cooks alike, we’re betting it’s only going to grow—and this a very good thing indeed.

To be included in the giveaway, just leave a comment with a working email by 11 am eastern time Friday. (Sorry, can only do United States.) Because this is do-it-yourself intensive, I’d love more ideas for DIY projects, if you have them. Winners will be announced on Twitter (folo me @ruhlman) on Friday at noon eastern.

Happy curing!

Other links you may like:

© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


506 Wonderful responses to “Salumi—Signed Copies Giveaway!”

  • Lynn

    I’ll certainly have this book on my shelf soon either way, maybe I’ll win a copy!

  • J. Anderson

    As someone who very recently had a mix-up with salumi versus salami, I suspect i could benefit from this particular tome.

  • John

    Well I’ll be buying one if I don’t win, love all your books. Thank you.

  • Mary

    DIY project? Currently working on a booklet for fellow CSA members in my local area. Raw milk and cream has become available to us and people need help knowing how to care for it and what to do with it other than drink it. Letting them know that with only a little lemon juice or a spoonful of yogurt, they can easily have so many products — yogurt, yogurt cheese, lebneh, ricotta, paneer, mascarpone, creme fraiche, butter, buttermilk… And then from there, the sky is the limit with what they can do… raita, lassi, frozen yogurt, ricotta cheesecake, fantastic marinades for meat, cheese for grilling…. way too many things to mention. Would very much treasure a signed copy of your DIY beautiful book, Salumi.

    • Rusty Valentine

      I totally agree. Since Michael’s post on butter-making, I have not been able to stop making my own. And, as one hailing from America’s Dairyland, I feel a natural pull to investigate the possiblities of “the curd”. Not that I need another hobby…

      • Mary

        Oh, yes! Absolutely right. I enjoyed Michael’s post on butter too. It was super helpful, pushing me on into cultured butter — which I am also now completely addicted to. I can’t stop making it either. Thanks Michael!

  • Chris Urik

    Your bacon recipe started it all for me. It actually converted a vegetarian friend back into a carnivore, so you know it’s good! I would be honored & humbled to own a signed copy of your new book. 🙂

  • Steve Puricelli

    It’s not so much the book, but rather my wife! Getting a signed copy may be just enough to convince my wife to let me build a drying/curing chamber in our small San Francisco flat…oh, she’s a vegetarian by the way…wish me luck!

  • Olivia

    I heard somewhere that the humidity in the curing area for some salumi needs to be relatively high: in the 70% range. If that’s true, then I have one more reason to build a cheese cave!

  • Matthew Brown

    The dirty, terrible things I would do for a copy of this book…

  • Mitch Rosenbaum

    Polcyn, Ruhlman and all the piggies run scared. I can’t wait to delve into “Salumi”. Your “Charcuterie” has been an essential reference for getting the most out of the well-fed livestock of the Willamette Valley here in Oregon, especially those delicious piggies! Bring on the dry cures! DIY Project that always catch my eye includes Mostardas, Vinegars, Mustards, a definitive book of smoking and smoke cure, Fish curing and preservation.

  • michael h.

    Just picked up 4# of pork belly from a local rancher and am about to use your bacon recipe to cure it. Congrats on the new book!

  • paul

    Charcuterie and Charcutepalooza got me making bacon and prosciutto among other things. Just got a grinder for my birthday, so ready for sausages and… Salumi!

  • Tasha Jaeger

    Oh dear, the mouth waters and the mind boggles. I dearly love whole-muscle cured meats! *sobs with the absolute beauty of it all*

  • Teruska

    LOVE Charcuterie! I have made several recipes from it and will continue to. Salumi is not yet available in our Library and I need to read it!! Soon!!

  • John Lambing

    Years ago, as a new culinary student “Soul of a Chef” changed my outlook on the entire industry.

    I’ve been a fan ever since. That won’t change, win or lose.

  • Ryan

    Can we simply purchase a signed copy from you? I’d much rather support your work.

  • Carolyn Schmidt

    I received an unwanted small “wine fridge” that I converted into a meat drying box. It’s great because the fan keeps the air moving inside and I have great control of temps in the target range. Add a hydrometer, an independent thermostat, and voila! To double down on the coolness factor, I “seeded” the inside by hanging a dried European sausage in it. Great results for small projects and plenty big enough for my uses.

  • Annie

    I would love this! My husband and I are currently working our way through Ratio, and would love to do this as well!

  • Chris

    I would like to see something, DIY, for offal. Not the most popular parts of the animals but sometimes the most delicious.

  • Bradley Johnson

    Just so you know the wood grill at Sans Souci is gone now… I’m sure it breaks your heart!

  • Mina Holliday

    I own Charcuterie, and Ratio, as well as the Reach and Soul of a Chef (Soul is my husband’s favourite, Ratio is mine). Really looking forward to Salumi – I want to pair it with my homemade traditional mozzarella.

  • Chuck Shaw

    Michael, Have all your books and enjoy watching your success. I think a smoker is coming for my 50th and this book would be a killer addition. Any recommendations for smokers (reasonably priced). Probably a vertical model to hang sausage, etc. Thanks bud.

  • Morris Jones

    Can’t wait to get a look at ‘Salumi’! Need more cured meat.

  • Scott Li

    I’m signed up! Charcuterie is great and I hope to complete a DIY charcuterie fridge soon.

  • Claire

    Lately my boyfriend and I have been getting into making cocktails at home. Having something like ratio where we could understand in what ways ingredients combine so that we could start from there and make our own creations would be really interesting. Perhaps along with information about beer brewing and wine making. Anyway, just a thought! Looking forward to the new book!

  • Roy McCombs

    I can’t wait to add Salumi to my collection of cookbooks I ACTUALLY USE – thank you so much for helping those of us interested in making real food, you have turned a “hobby” into a passion. I now make my own bacon and cured meats, pasta, ice cream, sauces, baked goods, cheese, beer, and soon dry cured meats (looking forward to making my DIY fermentation chamber)! You keep the books coming and I’ll keep making food!!!

  • Joe Gass

    Another Rhulman book to work through? Oh well, I guess, if I have to, I will;) Seriously, though, Cant wait to get my hands on a copy!

  • Paul C

    A week or so ago I had the idea of curing and smoking a whole boned out duck. I used the Charcuterie brine recipe for the hot smoked duck breast. Not sure how it’s going to work out as it was pretty floppy even after being tied up, but even if it doesn’t hold together well I’m betting it’ll slice up real well for some DLT sandwhiches. Can’t wait for the new book to get a better understanding of the Italian take on the old piggy.

  • Carol S.

    My husband has been talking about wanted to cure his own meats for years. I’ve told him we don’t need more stuff, but then the only butcher in town recently closed down. I must admit, I am really missing the freshly cured meats – I may now have to consider. Would love to surprise him with this book.

  • Lauren Edlund

    Having just completed our sixth annual sausagefest, where Charcuterie (or the bible as we call it) sits front and center, I would be thrilled to win a copy of Salumi.

  • Nishi

    As a former Clevelander (now New Yorker/Brooklynite) and, more importantly, a Ratio fiend, I’m such a fan of yours!
    To echo the above commenter, cheesemaking would be a great topic.

  • celia

    I would love a copy. I would love more info on cheesemaking. Or maybe infused liquors/cordials/bitters/etc. I welcome any and all DIY projects.

  • Ryan

    Sounds good to me, I’m working on beer for a friend’s wedding today.

  • Nathan King

    Charcuterie is a book of scripture… I see a holy bible on the horizon…

  • Jen

    Have been fantasizing about this volume– winning an autographed copy would be SUCH a treat!

  • Melissa Belanger

    I’d love a copy of your book – not for me, but for my husband (Aww, who am I kidding? I’d use it obsessively too). I’m the cook in our family, but I’m trying to lure him into the kitchen more often, and meat seems to be the ever-present key to success in that venture. 🙂

  • Doug Hiza

    I’d love to have a copy of your book. I have Charcuterie and I’m sure this will match or best that one.

  • Linda S.

    My grandparents from northern Italy (who I never knew) cured meats in their basement, and a cousin has tried it. I’m now curious about how to do it. I loved Twenty, so am looking forward to this new resource.

  • John Paulun

    I am quickly amassing your entire catalog of books, and am especially excited to read the latest!

    Just this past Saturday I celebrated my 30 birthday by cooking a four course meal for my wife and friends. The techniques and many recipes were straight out of 20. Leeks vinagrette, sweet bell pepper soup, lemon-lime sorbet, and shaved brussel sprouts with bacon (made with homemade slab from Charcuterie, natch) were all a huge hit!

    I am now scouring craiglist for mini-fridge to turn into a curing chamber so my wife can get her closet back. I can’t wait to delve deeper into the crazy fun world of cured meats.

    Thanks to you, Brian, and all the champions of pork and salt!

  • Chris

    I agree with another comment about cheese making. That would be awesome.

  • Grant Colvin

    It would be great to win. Charcuterie is an absolutely tremendous book. Salumi sounds like it will be great, too. The butchery section should be particularly useful. One of my latest little projects, based on Charcuterie, is lamb bacon. Start with lamb breast, with any bones or cartilage removed. (I find lamb breast at, of all places, the meat department of my local, uhh, Walmart.) Cure with the same approach as described in Charcutie for pork bacon, but with somewhat less cure time because it’s thinner. Then, hot smoke (I use a garden variety stovetop cooker) over dried grapevine clippings for about 45 minutes, or about 155F internal temperature. What to do with lamb bacon? Well, because lamb breast is thinner than pork belly, fried slices are narrower. This inspired me to put together an intermediate course for a dinner party: the Mini Lamb BLT. I used toasted cocktail bread (slices are about 2″ x 2″ and about 1/4″ thick). Slather the slices with homemade mayo. Add a layer of pretty much any smaller-sized greens, stack on some fried lamb bacon, and then some thin slices of cherry tomato. The idea is to keep the size of the various components to scale. Accompany with very thin potato chips made from fingerling potatoes (I fried them in duck fat, because, well, I had duck fat) and some pickle spears cut to the appropriate scale. Present on a small plate. The dish is quite amusing and very tasty. It was a big hit. I’ve also simply braised a slab of lamb bacon with white wine and mirepoix for a couple of hours, cut it into little blocks about 1.5″ square and then served with a dollop of aioli flavored with garlic and preserved lemon. Or, as a brunch item: a few slices of fried lamb bacon accompanied by a couple of sunny-side-up quail eggs and a slice of toasted cocktail bread. I live in St. Louis, where we are very excited about a relatively new enterprise called Salume Beddu ( Great stuff. They have a (limited) supply of Mangalitsa pork. Mangalitsa lardo, for instance, is fantastic! Best of luck with the latest book!

  • dave

    thanks for the simple explanation of sulumi vs salami…i’ve been trying to figure that out for a while.

  • Jacques Gauvin

    I would absolutely love a copy of this book, but if I buy it, my girlfriend will kill me for spending the money. Another project to consider is something cocktail related; perhaps DIY versions of liqueurs or maybe vinegar or something. I see random recipes/techniques for that sort of thing, but an actual tome with a systematic methodology behind it would be great.

  • Melanie Brown

    Really enjoyed The Soul of a Chef. Gifted Twenty to an already adept home chef and he is continuing to draw kernels from it.
    Thank you for what you do,

  • Erik

    I’m really excited to dive into this book. I love consuming pork in the name of skill development.

  • Josh Swanson

    Looking forward to this read and putting it to the test. Loved all of your other books Soul of a chef changed my world thanks.

  • Manny

    Charcuterie is great, I imagine this is just as thorough and informative.

  • Patrick

    Just fixed the fridge in garage, so now I have the space to try some new things out. Looking forward to the book.

  • Jill Moberg

    I love the idea of making anything at home, Salumi should be next on my list! I also want to attempt some flavored vinegars, grapefruit white balsamic I’m thinking.

  • Bart Bowling

    I’ve enjoyed every one of your books for far. It sure would be nice to win a free one!

  • Chris Hall

    Loved Charcuterie!!! I will be getting this one if I dont win. DIY cheese or vinegar would be a good read.

  • Karen

    DIY… hmm… I recall thinking of something the other day. Will repost if I remember. Sorry.

  • Mike McGrath

    My two young kids have had a great time helping me make our own Bacon, Panchetta, and other cured treats from the first book. Can’t wait to get the new one and
    see what else we can do together.

  • charlette

    What more could I ask than to have the opportunity to learn how do something new that is a wee bit out of my comfort zone. That’s what it is about, right???

  • Dan

    Thanks to you I haven’t purchased bacon from a store in like 2 years. And when I visit my niece and nephew and bring over a care package, they all scream, “Uncle Danny’s bacon!!!” Good stuff.

    DIY project suggestion… canning is solid, but probably not book-worthy. But expand on that idea and think along the lines of making due outside of growing/harvest seasons.

  • Whitney Green

    I’ve bought at least 5 copies of Charcuterie for other folks, and have 2 for myself. One for the kitchen, to get all greasy and stained, and the other to pull out and illustrate points with friends. Regardless of winning, I’ll be buying this book!

  • Gabriel Salazar

    I am looking forward to reading…and using this book. I think a good project would be a book on putting together a functional pantry and kitchen…what do you really need? how should you store things? What are good staples to stock etc. I have been lucky enough to be paid well most of my life to play with food and constantly answer questions like these.

  • Walter Jeffries

    My 20 year old son wants to learn to smoke and I’m encouraging him. Smoke pork. We’ve both been enjoying your other books as we work on building our on-farm butcher shop, a project that is approaching closure. Once we have the meat cutting running smoothly we’ll do slaughter and then, hopefully in 2013 or 2014 get our smokehouse up and running. The space in the butcher shop is already built for that as well as a brine room and curing room with multiple small batch closets.

  • Rich

    This just makes want to go grab a shovel and start digging a cellar to cure my salumi in. Maybe there’s a cure for my addiction to meat curing.

  • kcc

    i just scored a lovely used copy of the making of a chef. anything ruhlman is great to me. thanks!

  • Candy

    LOVE your Chacuterie book and use it. Always have canadian bacon now.For some reason there is a mystique about Salumi. At least in my tiny little brain. Thanks for the learnin.

  • Shayne Daley

    Charcuterie is my “growing old, happy and fat” hobby. I needs this book!

  • Janet

    How great for American households to have someone who has and does help them achieve such mouth watering goodies. Because of you, whilst living in the UK I was able to make corned beef and pastrami. Items not easily available. I look forward to this new book with much anticipation.

  • David

    Big fan of yours. would love a copy… My friends keep on telling me to cut down on my intake of meat products. My answer is…..why!!

  • Dave

    Just finished smoking my maple cured bacon from Charcuterie, used apple wood. can’t wait to fry it up.Lucky to live in Cleveland, as the West Side market has several vendors for belly. The Kielbasa with Marjoram is next on the list.

  • Jesse Rubin

    Already bought one on Amazon but could use it as a gift if I win the signed one!

  • Tyler M

    Loved Chartuterie and working my way through Twenty. Loved everything I’ve made so far. Made French Onion soup last night.