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Italian Cremona Salame al Parmigiano Reggiano

The Cremona salame is a wonderful salami that originated in Norther Italy from the city of Cremona. This salame is simple, a little sweet, with a fermented flavor that seems to bloom on the tongue. This salami is often served as an appetizer with bread and cheese, so for todays recipe we will be making this delicious salami with a slight little twist. We will be adding the cheese (parmigiano reggiano) to it. Of course this is an optional step so if you want to make make the Cremona salame sans cheese just leave out that ingredient😁.

This is going to be an all pork salami using a 70/30 lean to fat ratio. I will be using pork back fat to satisfy the fat portion of our recipe. If you don’t have a local butcher or can’t get your hands on back fat then using a fatty pork shoulder will work great for this recipe as well. Fatty pork shoulder already has a great lean to fat ratio for salami. We will also be using Insta Cure #2 because the processing time will be longer than 30 days to dry and to ferment this salami and finally we going to be using using the starter culture Flavor of Italy which will lower the pH of our Cremona salame in under 24 hours.

Flavor of Italy contains several different family groups of lactic acid producing bacteria (much like sauerkraut or pickles). These bacteria (during fermentation) eat sugar and release lactic acid. It’s this very process that starts to acidify your meat, lowering the pH. When it comes to salami making the “safe zone” is a pH that’s under 5.3. Each start culture is slightly different but for Flavor of Italy our target ph will be between 5.2pH and 4.9pH

The absolute most reliable way to test the pH of your salami is with a pH meter. If you plan on getting into this hobby you’ll want to get a reliable pH meter. This isn’t something that you want to go cheap on. A good quality pH meter will last you a long time and offer you the peace of mind of knowing that you are producing a safe product to eat. We use the pH meter from Apera Instruments PH60S-Z. This Pocket pH Tester has blue tooth capability, can be calibrated for extreme accuracy, and is very easy to use. They also make a (non bluetooth version) PH60S. The great thing about pH meters is that you can use them for all sorts of things other than salami making. We use ours to make beer/wine, cheese, fermented foods (kim chi, sauerkraut, hot sauce), kombucha, and gardening/hydroponics. There are many different styles of pH meters but if you stick to the ones that I linked above (the swiss spear units) you can do everything i mentioned without a problem.

The last thing you need in order to make this salami is a place for it to dry. Salami was often hung in a basement or cellar as the temperature was typically cool with a fairly high humidity. If you have a basement or cellar that’s not very drafty and has an average of 55F (13C) with a high humidity (85%) then you can hang your salami in there with no worries, but for the rest of us the best option is to have a drying chamber. A drying chamber chamber provides a controlled environment so that your salami can dry evenly.  Building a drying chamber is relatively easy but if you don’t want to build one and have some rainy day money laying around buying a drying/curing chamber is even easier.

Follow basic salami preparation practices when making this sausage.
  1. Clean and Sanitize all of your equipment.
  2. Keep your meat and grinder parts super cold (below 35F) during the grinding process
  3. Rehydrate your starter culture (in non-chlorinated water) for 30 minutes prior to use.
  4. Mix your very chilled mince meat, seasonings, and starter culture till the mince becomes very tacky
  5. Tightly stuff the mince into casings and prick out any air pockets
  6. Record the starting weight and the target of each salami link
  7. Brush with protective mold culture
  8. Hang the salami to ferment for 18-24 hours (these parameters are for Flavor of Italy starter culture)
  9. After the pH target has been hit, hang the salami to dry till the weight loss target has been achieved.
  10. Remove from the drying chamber, slice thinly, and enjoy

Here are a few things you might find useful when making this sausage

Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask away. If you make this at home I’d love to hear about how it came out!!

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5 from 4 votes

Cremona Salame

w/ Parmigiano Reggiano
Prep Time2 hours
60 days
Total Time60 days 2 hours
How much do you want to make? 1000 grams



  • If you are using a mold culture, prepare at least 2-3 hours before you start processing your meat. This will give it a chance to "wake up"
  • Cut the cheese into small cubes and set to the side.
  • Clean your meat of any sinew or silverskin and cut the meat and fat into small chunks (small enough to fit into your grinder)
  • Chill your meat to 32f-34f. Grind chilled meat and fat through a 6mm or 4.5mm plate.
  • Prepare the casing by soaking in luke warm water and prepare the starter culture as it needs to rehydrate for a least 30 minutes
  • Once you have everything ready add all your spices and starter culture to your mince and begin mixing. Mix well till everything is thoroughly incorporated. It should feel tacky and stick to your hand if you turn your hand upside down, when finished.
  • Add the cheese and mix for a minute more.
  • Stuff into your casing, prick with a sausage pricker, and if you plan on using mold this would be a good time to brush it on. Also weigh your salami and record the weigh.
  • Ferment your salami by placing them in an environment that between 75F and 85F with high humidity for 18-24 hours. You can achieve high humidity by wrapping you salami in cling film. This locks in the moisture. A good place to ferment is in your oven with the light on but the oven off. (EVERY STARTER CULTURE IS DIFFERENT. THESE INSTRUCTIONS ARE FOR THE FLAVOR OF ITALY STARTER CULTURE). The goal of fermentation is to reach a pH between 5.2 and 4.9.
  • Once you have reached the target pH you can transfer your salami to the drying chamber.
  • The drying conditions should be set to 55F and 80% humidity. Leave it in here till you lose 30% – 40% moisture loss. The more moisture that is lost the harder your salami will be. I personally like 38% – 40% weight loss.

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11 thoughts on “Italian Cremona Salame al Parmigiano Reggiano”

  1. 5 stars
    I’m new to the world of making charcutier and I also just started to read your postings. My question;
    During the fermentation period you mention in this video you would leave the Cremona salami in the kitchen which is fine but how do you ensure the humidity will get to 85%?

    1. If you wrap your salami in cling film (seran wrap) the humidity woill be trapped inside. This keeps the humidity high during fermentation..

  2. Eric, cure #2 usually turns my ground pork mince an unappetizing brown color which I have learned to ignore (I grew up using saltpeter). Your mince appeared whitish and pasty suggesting a very high fat content. Would this just be lighting/video effect. Do you normally experience a brownish mince with #2? My first whole muscle effort following your cappacolla video was a big hit. Thankyou.

    1. No, normally my cure 2 gives the meat a nice pink color. Check out my Salami videos. There might be a problem with the product? Glad that cappy was a big hit!!!

  3. One question on weight loss, would we expect the same ~38% even though the cheese is in there, I would think the cheese would take a long time to lose moisture, as its already lower on the moisture side….
    I started 2 type of salami, this one, & a Calabrian at the same time. Both the same dia, Length & casing, the Calabrian is finished, but the par salami is only at 30% loss so far, and going very slow!! It feels very firm at the moment. I am itching to try it already!!!! its been hanging for ~9wks now i think!

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