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!”

  • Michael

    Already purchased a copy for my Mom for her birthday. She has always been my culinary inspiration. Gotta selfishly admit…. wouldn’t mind a copy for myself! Thank you!

  • Kathleen Knull

    I love your books! I’ve learned so much from them and would love to add this one to my collection.

  • allen

    Since we have not had a cocktail post in sometime, I think we need a whole book on the subject.
    Fermentation would make a great topic for a book, I love the beer vinegar on fish and chips.
    And can you sign my Kindle?

  • SA Fifer

    Would love a copy of this–like to try this myself. And…I like the idea of a book on fermentation, too!

  • Hugh Anderson

    I’d love to take a crack at making some of these recipes. As for DIY projects, I’ve recently started bottling (and carbonating) various cocktails, as well as soda. Lots of fun & interesting places you can go with a bottle capper, some bottles, and a carbonating device.

  • Jai Kohli

    I’m so excited for this book. I just finished graduate school and I found nothing more therapeutic than making artisanal foo by hand: bread, cheeses and hopefully soon salumi. Since we’re so connected now, and an instant-gratification society, its nice to reconnect with our traditional roots and CREATE with our hands, especially the food we eat.

  • CK

    Can’t wait to read another cured meats book from MR, and am thrilled to read that Salumi includes butchering tips for whole muscle salumi

  • Joel

    This book has been in my Amazon wishlist since the first day you linked to it. I hoped to pre-order it, but buying a new house has put a damper on fun things to spend money on. I cannot wait to have this and start curing my own meats in my house.

  • Robert Flowers

    Hi there! Salami is a variety of salumi? Also, I find the little end tidbit (links you might like) rather appropriate for this post.

  • Clint McEwen

    I’m lucky enough to be able to make my living by teaching young children how to cook. I’d love to have this one in the reference library.

  • Meredith Ross

    I’ve always appreciated a good pepperoni or prosciutto. But my eyes were opened when I went to Italy in January of this year. I stayed at an agriturismo near bologna that had some amazing coppo, salami and sausage. I saw what a personal process it was, how our host lovingly described how it was made. I’d love this book to savor (pun intended) the process more!

  • annietiques

    I would be thrilled to win a copy of your book! I have taken so many ideas from your website into my heart!! Except keeping the chicken stock on the stove all week!!!…OMDG

  • Angie Green

    Love your books/recipes and want to add this to my collection. I too like the idea of a fermentation book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Dee Smith

    Seems like learning the art of salumi would be the ideal retirement
    project! Now to work up the nerve to tackle it. If anything could give me confidence, it would be your book.

  • Michael

    Would love to be able to cure some capicola to make a homemade muffuletta (with homemade bread).

  • Nicola Brennan

    Will soon be moving into a new apartment where I will finally have space to cook and create. Can’t wait!

  • Stephen De Sena

    Here’s hoping for some good luck. If not, I’ll be buying this very soon.

  • Crayton Silsby

    I’d love to win this so I can give it to a guy who runs a fantastic restaurant in Portland, ME.

  • pb

    Just finished making some! I can’t wait to own this book and get started with new recipes and techniques!

  • Scott Del Pozzo

    Thanks for the opportunity to win the new book. I own all of the others and love making bread with the App.

  • ginny loeb

    I am so excited about your book, I have only heard great things about it so far. Bitters, shrubs, and carbonated drinks have been so popular and are only to going to get more popular and more mainstream. That might be a fun DIY topic.

  • Macleay

    After I was inspired by “Charcuterie” I have recently organised my curing chamber and I am ready for my first test run, very keen to produce some fresh cured meats!

  • John Doty

    Fermentation would be a great topic, Sandor Katz has done an interesting book on that, more recipies would be welcome though.
    I also make bread and Maple Syrup along with our pickles and Kimchi.
    I have been getting a lot of use out of your Ratio book and would love to have a go at Salumi.

  • Christine

    Fell in love with the world of salumi when we stumbled upon Greve in Chianti a number of years ago. Would love to get a copy but since I don’t tweet, wouldn’t know if I won. Thanks anyway. Hope you sell zillions of copies of the book!

  • Stella

    So looking forward to reading (and playing with) this book. I have all your books…the not-food ones are equally great…looking forward to winning (yay) or buying (oh well would have anyway) this one.

  • Josh Kantor

    I would love to get my hands on a copy of the book. As far as a DIY project, it would be great to see something similar to the from scratch BLT challenge you did. Perhaps on the sweet side, Ice Cream and Pie? Or maybe cocktails, make your own tonic, bitters, tinctures, etc…

  • John Lindsay

    I love all your books and I hope to win this one so I can buy more knives, cure and meat.

  • Jude - Cook, Geek

    I’m a huge fan, particularly of your Ratio and Charcuterie works – I’m also sad that as a Canadian, I can’t partake in your signd copies giveaway of Salumi. Very very sad…..any plans for a Canadian signing tour?

  • Susannah, butcher

    I could definitely use this book as inspiration and a recipe base at work or home…

  • Eric

    I’m just about to move into a house where I’ll finally have the room to start working on curing my own meats! Hrm, I wonder if I can salumize elk? Hunting season is coming up….

  • Mike

    I love Charcuterie and can’t wait to start getting into Salumi. Thanks for all the work you do.

  • Paule-Marie

    I’m looking forward to reading your book. I grew up on all good things Italian.

  • Kristy L

    Love your books! My husband and I have been getting into salumi lately so I would love a copy of this book.

  • John Rapoport


    I promise to take my free autographed copy of the book with me to read on the plane to Italy in October and wave it in front of every Salumeria in Norcia and San Miniato ( two stops on my “I’m not Ruhlman but I do love salumi” tour of Italy).

  • laura s.

    I am so excited you have a new book coming out. I have enjoyed all your previous adventures. And like any chef nerd, I love that you write too us and for us. Approachable for the layman but technical enough to keep us happy. I have read your books throughout many steps in my career and found laughter, hope, and perseverence at the heart of each one.
    Thank you so much for your words!

  • Max

    I love Charcuterie, even if my girlfriend is hesitant about the pancetta hanging in our kitchen. Would love to learn more about dry-cured sausages.

  • Brandon

    The book looks terrific. Charcuterie could use a companion book so the binding doesn’t wear out.

  • Tags

    I still have a VHS tape of Brian Polcyn with Eric Villegas on Eric’s “Fork in the Road” show. He was showing off the facilities at Schoolcraft College. And yes, I will graciously accept your generous gift if offered.

  • Adam Letson

    I would love to have a copy! Charcuterie is still a go to reference that never leaves my kitchen.

  • Andrew Greenseid

    Can’t wait to see the new book. Charcuterie really opened my eyes to what is possible.

  • darren

    I’d like to see you put together the ultimate charcuterie platter. Several Ruhlman & Polcyn (R&P) cured meat products, R&P condiments like mustards or chutney, R&P made cheese, R&P pickles, and an R&P wild card item. When I ate at Proof On Main in louisville, ky and had their charcuterie platter they had cold smoked grapes…oddly good wild card item.

  • Trafton

    Really looking forward to reading this one. You signed my copy of Charcuterie earlier this year with a very convincing note to my vegetarian girlfriend. Big fan.

  • Austin

    Thanks for your continued hard work in making refined and skilled cooking accessible to all without dumbing it all down. You inspire me in the kitchen everyday!

  • Nadine

    I would love to make my own cured sausages et al. It sounds like a great book. On the topic of DIY — what about pickles? Pickling isn’t terribly hard and there’s so many varieties to be made. My favorite pickles as a child were beet and turnip pickles (brined and then a chemical reaction between the beet and turnip makes them sour) or vinegared cabbage with curry. Cucumber pickles are great, but there’s a whole world of stuff that can be brined, soaked in vinegar, etc.

  • Abra

    I’m so ready for this book, because I think I’ve made every single thing in Charcuterie and am pining to move on.

  • James

    Super excited about this book. I love Charcuterie (the food and the book) and am interested in learning more about butchery and curing, so this is perfect.

    One DIY project that I would like to try is fermenting soy sauce. Looks like it is fraught with difficulty, but according to the internets it is possible.

  • Carlin

    Would love a copy. I have Twenty and thanks to it overcame my fear of curing salmon. Easy, perfect directions, have some in the refrigerator now.

  • David Bear

    I’m a huge fan of your books! I was researching how to cure pork belly and every site I came to talked about your book, Charcuterie. I bought it and loved it. I’ve followed many of the processes with huge success. I purchased copies for friends. This year, I also purchased Making of a Chef, Ratio, and Twenty. It wasn’t until I started reading your books that I even noticed you co-authored French Laundry. I’ve owned it for a few of years and love how it is written. I’m forever a fan!!

  • Peter

    Really looking forward to this book. I like to keep a copy of Charcuterie under my pillow at night so that my dreams can be filled with thoughts of delicious cured meats.

  • Daniel

    Michael, you’re an inspiration. I take the time to cook more at home in large part due to your encouragement.

  • Jess

    Count me among those who are scared to try this myself. Would love this book as a way to become confident!

  • Ed Chambers

    I hope I get this — I’ve come to cooking late in life and have become keenly interested in sausage and curing meat.

  • Joe Belluso

    I, too, remember walking into my first true Italian salumeria. That was 12 years ago on my honeymoon to Umbria. While staying in a great agritourism farm with Mama Wanda and her 3 daughters (she still made the finest farro soup I have ever had), they sent my wife and I to the great plains.

    On our way, we found a salumeria and I found nirvana, at least pork nirvana. I had never seen so many sides of meats curing in such a small room. The boar prosciutto was to die for.

    After leaving the salumeria and finding a spot on the great plain to enjoy our finest meats and cheeses (with a great red wine, of course), our lounging was cut off a little short by three herding dogs who decided our meats smelled better than their duties of sheep.

    If I win the book, I’ll dig out and forward a copy of the picture my wife took of me fending off these “fierce” (aka fluffy) dogs.

    Either way, looking forward to trying your new recipes. “Charcuterie” is always on prominent display with our cookbooks and always brings passionate conversations.

  • William

    One of my friend Anna’s hog jowls sitting on the cure in the fridge right now to become guanciale for a chef friend. Trying to source pig bladders ………. but in NC there is some silly regulation against returning them to the owner of the pig. I wonder if a deer bladder would work for culatello (have to make sure it’s safe first). Anyway, I would be honored to receive a copy of Salumi autographed by two of my food heros. I assure you it will receive lots of use.

  • Tim

    DIY idea – The World of Cured Meats : take basic curing ideas from around the world – I’ve always been as big a fan of German cured meats & sausages…(wife’s german)

  • Tyler

    Looking forward to this book. Will probably end up w/2 copies like I do with Charcuterie. As for DIY ideas, maybe scratch Bacon cheeseburgers. Bake the buns, cure bacon, grind the meat, etc. Bonus points for handcutting your own fries and brewing your own beer to go with it.

  • Brian W

    Charcuterie and Salumi have been a HUGE inspiration on me. Whenever i have a day off from the kitchen im at home making mortadella, bacon, sausage (Mmmm!) pork belly lardo…ect. Ive just gotten in touch with local farm that has old spots and berkshire, so soon i will have a hog on my hands to butcher. Thank you so much Michael and Brian for all that you have done.

  • Michelle C.

    Would love a signed copy! Time to expand my horizons beyond fresh sausage.

  • Julia

    I keep thinking that I need a mini-fridge to start making cured meat. Your first cured meat book, “Charcuterie,” keeps putting out the siren call to buy equipment so that I can try out the recipes. My guess is that your latest book would just strengthen the salumi voices in my head.

  • nighthawk

    Awesome! “Charcuterie” is excellent…I make my own hotdogs following your methods….they’re great…
    Looking forward to this book!!

  • Lauren

    I’m really looking forward to ‘Salumi’! Charcuterie was GREAT!! Thank you Michael!

  • Jon

    Just built a fermentation chamber for brewing, winning this book might motivate me to build a curing chamber as well. Charcuterie is currently hanging out at my bedside.

  • Shaun

    I bought Charcruterie last year, finished reading in a day, made many recipes within a month, Now I am planning on the same with Salumi.

  • Patrick Dennis

    Just got my local raised half hog settled into the deep freeze… Here’s to winning a copy of much needed Salumi! I loved reading American Boys Handbook and any other DIY/Reference books growing up and trying out the projects like damming a creek and making fishing nets! These kind of books always had the best tips/tricks. I think a great idea would be a repository of said tips along with the best (and tested) DIY projects. For example there are hundreds of blogs that tought homemade sous vide apparatuses, cold smoke boxes, urban garden boxes, ad nauseum. But… WHICH ARE THE BEST? What I would love to see if your passion applied to this project and the creativity that comes out in your books which illustrate the best/simplified way of doing neat things that make life taste better. -Patrick

  • Michael K

    my grandfather would have loved that. i will give this a try. would love to win a copy (i don’t live in the US, but have a friend, who would bring it over in october). if not, i will buy one. 🙂