Mold, the great salami communicator. As you may know, salami is held together by casing, a natural, organic material that acts as a barrier between salami and its environment. When the salami is in its most favorable conditions of temperature and humidity, a distinct type of mold named, “penicillium nalgiovense” presents itself as a helping hand to the maturation process. It becomes a natural filter ensuring that no excess moisture enters the salami and allowing just the right amount to escape to prevent the salami from drying out. The good mold fends off harmful bacteria while it continually ages to perfection. So, next time you see that white stuff on those hanging salamis in your delicatessen, know that the irresistible flavors inside have been protected by the noble mold doing what it does best.
-James Van Wagoner