I do not claim to be a professional here by any means
Wally, ol' pard... I MUST disagree with you!
I believe that anyone who can study and heed instructions, learn from others, learn from your own failures, be humble enough to claim he`s not a pro, then turn out a finished product like you have, is indeed a professional! To be quite frank, I`ve examined the close-up photo of your Allysanndra and I believe it is a better quality sausage than the ones in the cover photo on the book, "The Art Of Charcuterie", by Kowalski
from the Culinary Art Institute Of America. Of course, I haven`t tasted it and by no means am I presenting myself as an expert or judge. It is simply my opinion. If one looks closely at the structure of the texture in the solid mass, one may realize why you have indeed made the statement:
"I realized that my hand mixing(with latex gloves) was not distributing all ingredients thoroughly throughout the batch."
I totally agree Wally. Furthermore, you wrote:
"The process of salami making starts when the salt hits the meat. This is when I pay close attention to details, example: I write down all mix times for each ingredient, salt, spice and cure and mix everything thoroughly. For the fermentation process, I record time and date, while keeping track of humidity and temperature, keeping in mind, the more consistent the humidity and temp levels are, the better chances of success. Then on to the incubation cycle and again keeping notes."
Now, if that isn`t the indication of a professional, what is? Wally, I realize you were very well practiced in making salami when you joined our WD membership. Nevertheless, you were willing to look at the craft anew and open your mind to the techniques of others and new ideas. This, in my opinion, is the reason you will always succeed in anything you put your hand to. You know, Wally, the "pride" in people is a funny thing. It has very much been my observation that many ol` timers and even folks who "think" they are successful in charcuterie, often present themselves as "above" the techniques and especially the suggestions of others. Many who need help the most, appear to be too "proud" to accept it. In reality, it is those folks who do
accept help from others... that most often go on to succeed beyond their wildest dreams. Ok Uwanna, I`ll hop down off the soapbox now. I just thought I`d tell you that I indeed consider you a pro!