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Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 21:32
by IdaKraut
I agree with Pikeman that cracked vs. whole peppercorns is the way to go. Also, I am not a big fan of Rytek's recipes; for one, his pushing of using Fermento instead of a real lactic acid bacteria starter culture which only padded his wallet and did nothing to make a traditonal tasting sausage. I think there are much better ones out there. One that I have used with good results is from Len Poli: ... to%203.pdf

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 23:56
by Baconologist
I agree, Rytek was a great guy and a colorful character, but he did a great disservice in promoting the soy crap and Fermento. The newer editions of his book aren't so bad, but the original edition was riddled with serious and potentially dangerous errors.

Salame cotto is a simple sausage, like nearly all sausages in Italy, usually seasoned with just white and black pepper, sometimes nutmeg, wine or garlic....always simple.
It's certainly not complicated with numerous different flavors and never anything like soy concentrate.
That's viewed as fraud.

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:05
by redzed
Rudy and Bob:

As far as Rytek's recipes and technique, let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater. I think that while your critique may have some basis, on the whole it is unfair and even affrontive. To begin with, when he first published his book, there were no starter cultures available to amateur sausage makers. And when the book first came out it, was one of the best recipe compilations and instructional manuals for an amateur or even a small sausage shop that was available at the time. You also have to understand that Rytek was a self-taught sausage maker, so we have to understand the context of the book. I don't think he ever pretended to be a master of the craft. In fact he humbly admitted his failures and mistakes in running his shop in Vegas. Rytek should be considered as a pioneer and with other publications and the internet we have come a long way since then.

But even today, the book is still a great reference tool and has not outlived its usefulness. A good sausage maker, like a good researcher will look and study all sources available on a particular subject or technique, analyze, experiment and only then come to a reasonable conclusion.

And while Fermento and soy protein may not be traditional ingredients, I think that there are are certain products that are enhanced by them. Both are natural products composed of healthy ingredients and should not be lumped in with the additives found in many commercial products.

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 05:48
by partycook
For what it's worth. I have been using Fermento since the 60's .
We usually make 100 + lbs. of Rytec's snack sticks (venison-pork) every hunting season.
Through the years we have made over 1000 lbs. using Fermento.
We have tried different snack stick recipes some with cultures but the gang still likes Rytec's recipe that uses Fermento. The only change that we have made is to make it hotter.


Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 09:11
by crustyo44
I have used buttermilk powder( similar to Fermento), soy and dry milk powder on Big Guys recommendation.
All sausages turned out great. I really don't care if it is area authentic, I make what I like.
Good Luck,

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 22:32
by IdaKraut
Yes I am affrontive when it comes to false claims. Pretending that buttermilk powder (AKA Fermento) will produce fermented sausage is a serious affront. Re-badging powdered buttermilk and then selling it as something else is deplorable in my book. This alone has soured my desire to use any of Rytek's recipes. Plus, being from Germany, I find his German sausage recipes lacking in many ways. Maybe his Polish recipes are good but I am not an aficionado of that cuisine.

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 08:21
by redzed
I'm still spending time in the American Southwest, and don't have Rytek's book with me. I read many parts of that book and maybe I missed something. I don't recall reading anywhere about Fermento being used in producing fermented sausages. I don't even remember seeing any recipes in the book for fermented sausages. Can you provide me with a reference to the section(s) of the book where Rytek made those claims?

Unfortunately, I am not an aficionado of German sausages, so I cannot dispute your reservations about related recipes that Rytek crafted. But then, I'm not an aficionado of Polish, Italian, Portuguese or French sausages either. I'm just a mere dilettante who likes them all.

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 09:37
by sawhorseray
I have Rytec's book on my coffee table and refer to it at least twice a week, He wrote this before the internet, before there was jack to help the common man. His recipes aren't doctrine, but the safety measures sure are. Without that book I'd never even have stepped the first foot into sausage making, CW and this site helped me take the second step. Why bad-mouth someone who's helped so many when he's no longer around to defend himself. I think this stinks, I look forward to your doctrine on safely making sausage and all aspects of charcuturie. I have to let this go right now, before I use a word like IDIOT. Look at the big picture of the man's work, not one little aspect. RAY

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 17:36
by ssorllih
When I first saw this statement by Idakraut I wondered if it might be true so I went to my recently received sausage makers book and diligently searched for his statements concerning fermented sausage. He states that frozen cultures are available to make consistently fine fermented sausage. He goes on to list recipes for several sausages of a fermented type that are made with Fermento®. This I interpret to mean that someone without a fermentation chamber can make a reasonably good sausage of this type with a substitute source of flavor. I also believe that he was his own harshest critic so he would not publish sausage recipes that didn't at least meet his standards for quality.
To condemn the work of a lifetime on the basis of a difference of opinion is at best very narrow minded.

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 18:12
by IdaKraut
In his book, copyright 1984, on page 334 Rytek states: "Fermento is an innovative new product recently developed. To some degree, it solves the problems of special shipping and packaging, as it does not require freezing or refrigeration. It is a dairy based, controlled fermentation product in powdered form.
"Fermento imparts a tangy flavor and may be used in the manufacture of all fermented-type sausages similar to summer sausage, thuringer, pepperoni, etc. This new product allows the production of fermented-type sausage at home as well as the smaller commercial sausage kitchens. Fermento should only be used in the production of semi-dry products."

In my experience using Fermento, I found no decrease in pH nor much, if any tanginess. This is why I made my comments regarding all of this. If this makes me an "idiot" or "narrow minded" then so be it. I'm not going to risk anyone's health using this so-called "fermentation product" because it doesn't do what he claimed.

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 18:19
by ssorllih
Reading comprehension is a serious problem in all debates. Rytek stated 'fermented type" sausages. In no place does he state that the use of Fermento® makes fermented sausage.

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 18:31
by Baconologist
Again, I agree with Rudy.
It's a shame that Rytek promoted the making of imitation "fermented" sausages rather than the real thing.

Issues, errors and omissions should be pointed out, especially when it comes to safety, no matter who the author is or how much they've contributed in other ways.

Who can spot the egregious error in the following recipe?

The exact same error exists in every single cured sausage recipe in the first edition of the book, a book still used by many sausage makers.


Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 19:20
by ssorllih
The cure value in the 10 pound batch is too low.

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 19:22
by Baconologist
ssorllih wrote:The cure value in the 10 pound batch is too low.

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 19:30
by ssorllih
I always proof read recipes before I trust them.