A week ago I went to Bolzano Artisan Meats in Milwaukee to attend a whole hog butchering class. It was well worth the time. Some of the photos to come may be offensive to some, so I will be putting most of this series under the fold, as they say.
Bolzano is a two person operation, husband and wife, Scott Buer and Christin Johnstone-Buer. They run the shop in a warehouse section in Milwaukee. It used to be part distillery, part dairy.
If memory serves, they used to make all sorts of stuff like cured hams and other delicacies, but now they only make salamis. The market has spoken. They don't typically even cut up pigs anymore except for these classes. They have the slaughterhouse grind pork shoulder for them for their salamis and then they mix it with their own spices. Their salamis are all dry cured - more on that in a moment.
When we arrived there was a short orientation, and then Scott gave us a bit of a lecture on the pig and what we were going to do, and some tips on keeping clean.
Here is yours truly with hairnet and beard net.
After the orientation, we got a look at some salamis doing their deal. The white stuff you see on the outside is basically mold as far as I know. It is called the "bloom" and that actually means that things are going well. No bloom, no dice. The product loses weight by approximately 30% before it goes to market. The "cooler" was actually fairly warm and humid. It smelled AWESOME.
Finally the star of the show was brought out, a Berkshire that was slaughtered, gutted and scalded just a few days previous. Hanging weight was 180 lbs. approx.
Much more to come in this series.