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Feb 16, 2012 04:19 PM

Kosher Lactic Acid Starter Culture?

Okay, so I'm looking at the book Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, and they describe using bacterial cultures for that Olde World flavor in fermented/dry-aged sausages. The only problem, however, is that I cannot find a hechsher for any lactic acid starter culture. I asked a rabbi from the OU, who said that I can't use any of them because they are derived from dairy (despite the fact that I *know* that there are some out there derived from beets or corn).

So here's the question:

Do I actually need the culture for fermented sausages? If I do, does anyone know where I could get my hands on the vegetable-derived culture?

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  1. P.S. do you think it is possible to just add sodium lactate or liquid lactic acid to the sausage instead of utilizing a bacterial culture?

    2 Replies
    1. re: alandy001

      What else have you tried or are thinking of trying from that book, and are you finding Kosher sausage casings

      1. re: chazzer

        I have made my own corned beef, and some turkey breast, but I am thinking of making my own Tuscan salami, using ground veal chuck because it has similar fatty meat as a pork butt. I have found some fibrous casings that work for salami, through a distributor of Kalle. Its a German company that the OU says has kosher fibrous casings.

    2. I've made dry-cured Spanish Chorizo & Pepperone. You need the culture to make the meat inhospitable to dangerous bacteria.

      Kosher certified pareve version of F-RM-52 culture can be acquired through Hirshberg Chemicals in Israel. They can only sell to Israelis though, so you'll need to find someone to bring it into the country. The culture is certified by Rabbi A. Hochwald in Amsterdam. You can get a copy of the certification by contacting them at

      3 Replies
      1. re: psycomp

        OMG!!! thank you so much. I hit nothing but dead ends with the OU and the OK.

        1. re: psycomp

          Okay, so I prematurely jumped the gun and emailed them without reading through your entire posting. I don't know anybody in the Israel that can bring me a culture. I asked the OU again about any companies that make kosher pareve F-RM-52. so i guess i have to wait and see. In the meantime, do you know if sodium lactate can work in place of the bacteria?

          1. re: alandy001

            I've never heard of it, so I can't say.

        2. The OU Industry search lists 2 Pareve sources (type "lactobacillus" in "Product": They're commercial suppliers but they may sell to you if you call and beg.