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Oct 21, 2012 06:01 AM

Saucisson Salami Charcuterie: Skins / Casings do you peel or not peel?

So I've never really understood if I am supposed to eat the skins / casing or not on quality Charcuterie products i.e. Good Italian Salami / French Sausiccson?

Mostly I just slice it up and eat the casings with it. They are a bit chewy but don't seem effect the taste even when they have a bit of white mould on them. And the Mould is usually just penicillin anyway isn't it?

I just bought some rather tasty Italian style Salamis in London. Handmade in London with pigs intestine casings. And they do have a bit of typical white mould (mold) on the casings. Would you try and peel the casings before eating? (either before or after slicing)?

Does it matter?

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  1. I don't usually peel if I am slicing salami thinly. However, I do if I'm cutting it into chunks, perhaps for cooking.

    1. Just as croute on cheese, up to you, but l really do not like them. In USA most delis before slicing remove the casing, then slice so no issue. Here in Europe , even with begging, they will never remove before slicing, thus l am forced to remove from each slice, pia. When buying a chunk l remove myself before non-machine slicing.

      1. It's a matter of personal preference.

        I eat the casing if I'm slicing it thinly. If I'm cutting thick rounds or chunks, I'm likely to peel the casing. I then use the peels to flavor soups (if the dogs don't convince me to feed them the casings).

        Does it matter? Only if you see mold on the casing. If I see mold, I cut it away, as I would on a wedge of cheese.

        1. Some types of charcuterie are completely covered in harmless white mold (penicillium nalgiovense), which is added by the producer to keep more harmful molds at bay. I generally peel back the casing, but don't get too concerned if I can't get it all off. I'm sure I've consumed my share of white mold over the years and have never suffered any ill effects from it.

          If you'd like to eat the casings, but want to get the mold off first, try this: Add one part vinegar to two or three parts cooking oil and shake vigorously to blend. Take a clean cloth and rub the oil/vinegar concoction over the sausage casing and then dry with a paper towel.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cheesemaestro

            Most people do not, but I actually think that the casing with the white mold crust adds to the enjoyment of eating the saucisson! Something about the visual appeal, taste and texture.

            Now that you mention it, it sounds like the mold might even be beneficial to the body, similar to the white mold on some of cheeses.

            Recently I bought some "gourmet saucisson" made in the States. The opaque packaging had lengthy descriptions about crafting the saucisson the traditional way... and on opening it, was very disappointed to see that the was absolutely no casing or crust to speak of.

          2. If it's a natural casing, like the others, I don't peel if slicing thinly, but always peel if using in thick slices or chunks (chorizo in beans and rice or paella is a good example)

            If it's not natural casing, off it comes.