Underground meats – open-source salami processing

Love salami, ham, and would love to cure your own? But you don’t DIY (do-it-yourself) meats because you think it’s too complex/painful/risky/expensive? Underground Meats is a very cool project to prove you the contrary! Those cool dudes try to open-source the safety control processes necessary to sell cured meats, to allow anyone to ride the homemade salami crafting wave and sell their own.


The Underground Food Collective and Underground Meats is a group of people who love food and have been cooking and producing sustainable local food for years, supporting farmers and growers around Madison, WI. After starting off with catering events and pop-up dinners, they opened a couple of restaurants, a catering facility, a meat/charcuterie production facility and a butcher shop.


The most challenging obstacle they faced when opening their charcuterie production facility, was the complex and costly set of state and federal guidelines for salami production. Known as a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), this document details your operation’s food safety and sanitary practice plan is necessary to explain how you keep your food safe for consumption. Have a look at their intro video here:

The problem is that getting your HACCP written and validated requires some serious skills to be brought in, but those costs are ridiculously high for small producers who are just getting started. There is little information out there for how to make an HACCP plan or sample documents to start from, therefore sharing freely this information with the large public will enable many small producers to also make their own plans for much less. And this is exactly the mission of underground Meats project: to create a transparent and concise HACCP model for small salami producers to use including the crucial links to studies and validation for procedure that will be shared with the world using a creative commons public domain dedication, along with great instructional videos about their crafting processes (definitely check out the underground food collective vimeo channel).

“We don’t see it as a thing where just big companies with a lot of money should have access to this information. We want to see tons of small producers and even farmers who want to do this be able to without researching food safety information that’s already been done.”

This is exactly the kind of projects FoodCrafters believe in and would love to promote. We encourage you to check out their kickstarter project which is still live for the next 48 hours and show them some support, which will get you some free salami for you buck! So check out some of the gorgeous products they made:

Tuscan Salami (toasted fennel, red wine)
Soppressata (allspice, chili, white pepper)
Saucisson Sec (black pepper, garlic)
Peperone (anise, paprika, cayenne)
Goat Salami (rosemary, cinnamon, 75% goat, 25% pork)
Finocchiona (fennel, white pepper)
Spanish Chorizo (smoked paprika, cayenne, chili pepper)

Yes, gorgeous indeed, and we can’t wait to see armadas of DIY salami makers starting up their operations and innovate with new processes and flavours. In the meanwhile, follow their work on Facebook and Twitter.

Image credits: Underground Food Collective.



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