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Opened salame package, and it smells like feet. Not normal, right?

It's brown sugar and fennel salame from Boccalone in San Francisco. When I opened the butcher paper, it smelled like extremely stinky cheese. I nibbled a tiny bit (because I'm starving, thus 2:00 salame run) and it didn't taste terrible, but I was too scared to actually eat much.

Before I take it back, I wanted to make sure I wasn't over-reacting. I'm tired and cranky, and hungry, so my decision making skills aren't at their finest!

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  1. Some meats (and cheeses, and wines) do smell very much like feet.

    Keep it wrapped, munch on something else if you can, and try it again when you're feeling a bit less frantic. I'm kind of like the Hulk when I'm hungry, so I can totally empathise.

    1. Actually...some salami DOES smell like feet. Especially the rind/casing. Trying slicing a piece, put the rest back in the fridge. Remove casing from slice, throw it away, wash your hands. Now try it.

      When I was in Bologna, I couldn't even walk into some shops, for fear of throwing up. Even standing a few feet from the door of a macelleria/salumeria was a bit much.

      1. If the salame is from a reputable dealer in cured meats I say go for it!!!

        1. I've had that exact salame and yes, it does smell funky. I served it at a party and didn't hear back from any of the 25 attendees that they'd gotten ill--in fact, many people asked what kind it was. I just figured the smell is due to the curing spices.

          1. Like some great cheeses, the stinkier the better!

            1. i was worried there for awhile. shovelling the driveway for an hour and a half, came in, took off the boots then socks (wanted to warm the dogs) and my feet smelled like salami!

              1. Don't eat it. I think I just spend two days last week with a stomach issue that seemed to happen right after eating a little bit of packaged Genoa salami. I ate it again after feeling better, and my stomach rejected it the second time too. I am beginning to think that Listeria is a big problem with this stuff.

                1. When I took my socks off last night my feet smelled just like salami. Should I see a doctor?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Robin Joy

                    A really kinky gourmet friend of mine wants to meet you.

                  2. Is the outside of the salamie white? Many salami are deliberately innoculated (on the outside) with a particular strain of penicilium mold to add flavor and retard the growth of harmful molds and bacteria, which often form black or green colonies. In my experience the added funkiness is minor, but maybe you got a batch that turned out a bit extreme. I wouldn't worry much about food poisoning, but if the taste is strange, bring it back to Boccalone and ask the manager to check it out.

                    1. salame is a product of fermentation and sometimes it does smell funky, especially the rind, and especially if it has been closed up. Id unwrap it - you could even wipe off the rind. If the slices of salami look and taste ok, dont worry about it.

                      1. I just bought the same thing and it smells like rotting food. Almost like vomit. I can't bring myself to taste it, is smells so rancid. I think I'm just gonna throw it away.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Tyguy7

                          salame is a fermented product and to some noses can smell "rancid". My dad was a food scientist and could not tolerate the smell of non-industrial european salamis for this reason - he never developed a taste for them.

                          Your salami looks fresh and I would not judge by smell alone. why not peel it, slice and give it a taste test? If you still do not like it give it away .

                          I see I made the same comment to the OP on this thread!

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            Yes, and I was about to make a little joke and then saw that I already made it upthread a few years back! Pathetic, isn't it?