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Feb 17, 2009 01:56 PM

Curing salt in RI

Any ideas on where I can pick some up? I am in Providence but often find myself in other parts of the state. Also looking for Juniper berries, as I am planning on making some pancetta.

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  1. Hi,

    Look on line its easier. you want a product called Tender Quick. Its in a 2 pound bag its a basic salt,sugar. nitrate product very easy to use also any market had juniper berries. They used to use Potassiam Nitrate but its against the law because its used for making explosives.

    1. I don't know where you'd find those in RI, but if you go to Worcester just up Rt. 146, Tom's International Deli on Water Street has both curing salt ("Prague powder") as well as whole dried juniper berries. While there, do yourslf a favor and cross the street to Widoff's Bakery, where you can buy a loaf of the finest rye bread anywhere (ask for a seeded loaf; the carraway seeds make the bread even better). Then go down Water Street to Golemo's, where they make & smoke their own excellent ham, kielbasa, bacon, kabanosa (the original "Slim Jim"), headcheese, tongue, dark headcheese (with blood), kishka, etc. Yum. So long until lunch!

      2 Replies
      1. re: oystertripe

        Golemo's is actually Millbury St. It becomes water when you cross the mess known as Kelley Sq..

        1. re: oystertripe

          Be sure to call Tom's if your going there from Providence. I stopped by there today hoping to buy curing salt. They did not have any on display and the two employees working thought that they didn't sell it. Tom's number is 508-755-7295.

        2. Prague powder works also it contains approx. 95% sodium chloride and 3% Nitrate and a percent of nitrate these is a company is NY State called the Sausage Maker you can find it on google. My background is Chartuciere. Also try doing bacon much better tasting than Pancetta in my opinion. lol

          1. Go to I just got a pound of Cure #1 for bacon and pancetta as well as a pound of cure #2 which also contains Nitrates for dry-cured sausages. With shipping the total came to $12.50 and I have enough to do 400 pounds of meat.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Flip

              Once you start to fool around with the cures you will have a blast. Being Italian I made our Southern Style Sausage called sopresetta. we did it in school 150 pounds later almost done curing. I love Pastrimi I made it that takes about 1 1/2 weeks to complete along with smoking it. forget store bought Pastrime only place better than mine is Katz.s Deli in NY. Go for it and have fun curing.

              1. re: Frank Terranova

                I just made some Sppresata without any cure. If I blog back in 3 weeks, I'm OK>

                1. re: trufflehound

                  WE never use cure its a family recipe just salt 20 ounces to 50 pounds. it takes about 7 weeks to cure and sure blog back all you want


                  1. re: trufflehound

                    Hey Truffle are you alive. I just plucked 140 Soppressata last Saturday plus Capacola. all salt cured. There is a company who makes it with just salt no cures its called Fortunas sold in most grocery stores. it does suck though. The USDA allows dry cured products to be made and sold so it doesnt make any difference in cures or not . Truffle lets swap a Soupy to see how it might differ I usually use a 95-5 blend mostly cushion meat but this year I switched to 75-25 trimmed butts. It came out great.

              2. If you're going to make homemade pancetta, you're much better off using plain old coarse salt (uniodized). The only purpose in using sodium nitrite or the various nitrates you find in curing salts is to preserve the myoglobin in the meat, thus keeping the meat from turning grey. Commercial producers do this so that their product looks more attractive on the shelf. These chemicals do nothing to preserve the quality of the meat, and they do not improve the flavor. Salt is all you need. Nitrite and nitrates are fairly unhealthy chemicals to ingest, and many claim they give food an artificial, processed flavor. They might make sense to use in cured meats and sausages that are served raw, as eating raw, grey meat can be off putting, but for a meat that you're going to cook anyway, there's no point.

                3 Replies
                1. re: danieljdwyer

                  My understanding is that the nitrites are used in dry cured and aged meats in order to prevent botulism... this seems important.

                  1. re: swobohe

                    It does prevent Botulism and also sets the color. It depends on what you want to cure. Just simple Kosher salt will do it if its for dry sausage. Salt is all you need. with the correct amount of salt , bacteria cant grow. Most dry sausage items in the market use Nitrates it does cure quicker. I made a Prosciutto it takes about a year of constant temperature. My Soprasatta will be ready in 3 more weeks we did 150 pounds of meat and just salt was used and it was a formula not just guessing. The USDA would accept its product if I decided to sell it. Best bet read up on anything with curing.

                    1. re: Frank Terranova

                      Botulism (from the latin "botulus" meaning sausage) grows in anaerobic environments (places without oxygen such as the interior of a drying sausage). Nitrites prevent clostridium botulinum from growing in these environments regardless of the salt level. So again, because botulism toxin is one of the most toxic substances know to mankind, it seems to make sense to stay safe and use it for cured meat products.