The Reveal!... Berkshire Culatello 2021

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indaswamp

Epic Pitmaster
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Apr 27, 2017
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South Louisiana-Yes, it is HOT
Absolute Perfection! Without a doubt this is the Pinnacle of my adventure into making Salumi! 2 years of waiting......My mind is totally Blown Away!
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It is so complex, it is very difficult for me to describe both the aroma and the flavor...it is musky, intense, concentrated, complex, yet sweet....and addictive!!! Now I get it.....I know why Culatello is considered to be the King of Italian Salumi.

The aroma.....best I can describe it...porcini mushrooms, truffle, morning dew covered grass, licorice, rose pedal, cashew, hazelnut, butter, honey.....Magnolia flower, toasted black pepper......that is all I got for now. The flavor just goes on and on and on and on the more you chew. The fat is rich and melts like butter with off the charts umami and buttery notes. Very distinctive scent I simply cannot describe fully! The vast array of intense flavors just keep evolving on the palate as you progress through the bite chewing the Culatello like bubble gum to savor every flavor note. Worth the wait and almost OCD attention to detail to produce it.

So here is the start going back to the beginning two years ago...
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t...hire-culatello-2021-second-winter-fog.311256/

fast forward....this was 3 days ago when I pulled it out of my chamber (Norcini Nirvana) compared to Culatello 2023 that I just started a week prior. It has lost 47% weight over the last 2 years...
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Checked it with my salumi mallet and one last time with my horse bone needle....
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It is good. And I want to cut it right now, but I have to wait. After removing the cording net, I soaked it in a 2 gallon bucket with a gallon of water and half a bottle of cheap white wine I had on hand for about 10 minutes to soften up the casing enough to remove it...

Here it is after the bladder being removed. Does not look too appetizing, but don't let that fool you....the aroma is intense at this point!
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Now is time for the rehydration with dry white wine soaked towel for 2-3 days...
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As the hours passed, and the Culatello began to rehydrate the dry outer layer of meat, the aroma started intensifying through the house. As mentioned....very difficult to describe. No proscuitto I have ever eaten comes close to this. This stuff is in a league all it's own.

Finally, this morning the moment of truth had arrived. The meat had softened enough. It is ready to slice...
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and my jaw dropped...
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You can see the little white dots of tyrosine crystals...same little crystals that are on parmesan cheese...little flavor nuggets!

I simply stared for a few minutes. I smelled it for some time. Took some pictures then remembered that I needed to get the slicer set up. Was able to slice this Culatello 0.5mm thick....parchment paper thin...
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Nirvana. No other word to describe it. The experience was sublime. Then I tasted it...and as a super taster, I was moved very deeply. I have never had a flavor experience like this.....it is something special I will remember for a long time. So glad I have Culatello 2022 and 2023 to look forward to!!!
 
Looks outstanding, Keith and I can only imagine the taste and aroma. As has been said, good things come to those who wait...
 
Looks fabulous Keith. Well worth the two year wait.

Point for sure
Chris
 
What an achievement! Congratulations.
Thanks rjob! After the failure of the first one from the Hampshire hog I bought for $100 bucks, I was a little nervous cutting this one. But it dried perfectly.

Holy smokes!!
Thanks mr whipple. Words fail to adequately describe both the aroma and flavor of this unique salumi product.

Looks outstanding, Keith and I can only imagine the taste and aroma. As has been said, good things come to those who wait...
Thanks GonnaSmoke, I have had other projects to look forward to over the last 2 years, but this was a big moment for sure.
Looks fabulous Keith. Well worth the two year wait.

Point for sure
Chris
Thanks Chris. Hope I can replicate the success of this one. Guess I will find out next year!
 
WOW Inda !!! That looks off the charts .. The freaking talent on this forum is amazing.. That cut shot should be on a permanent featured carousel !
 
WOW Inda !!! That looks off the charts .. The freaking talent on this forum is amazing.. That cut shot should be on a permanent featured carousel !
Thanks Jax! It is without a doubt the most crazy complex piece I have ever produced out of my chamber to date!
 
The older Italians in the Polesine Parmense Valley where Culatello is made say that after the 2nd. summer fermentation and winter period, Culatello is the best. The funk and intensity really goes exponential by the third summer fermentation and winter period. Mossimo Spigaroli offers 35-40 month aged Culatello in his restaurant.
 
That is what I would call the master class! That looks magical!!!!! Congrats and enjoy!!!!
 
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Man honestly your salumi posts are just world class. I can't imagine the patience required on this and I'll bet the flavor is astonishing.
 
Excellent job Keith! It looks amazing... and can only imagine the aroma! But if we had smell a vision my stomach would be growling. Can't imagine a two year process.

Ryan
 
That is fricken beautiful - pure classic artistry. I WISH I was there to enjoy some with you :emoji_laughing:
 
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The process and length of time is mind blowing! Man you did it and huge congrats to you on your patience!
 
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