More fuet

Fuet sausages, after nearly two weeks of drying.  These should be ready to eat in another fortnight or so.  I was expecting more Bactoferm-600 growth, but the culture in my freezer was old (way past the use-by date) and I did a complete antiseptic clear-out of the chamber during the last monsoon, perhaps removing the long-term resident 600 mould spores.  Before that, any sausage or cured meat would mould up almost immediately without me inoculating them at all.

Fuet progress

After 10 days of drying: the sausage is appreciably thinner, with pieces of fat standing proud in the casing, and small colonies of Bactoferm-600 mould (good mould) have sprung up too.  Current conditions inside the chamber are 70% relative humidity, temperature 14±0.5°C, moderate airflow speed.  Sorry for the poor quality image but it is dark inside both the room and the chamber itself.

New charcuterie project

In anticipation of the arrival of a distinguished friend from afar this Autumn I’ve started a new fermented sausage project: fuet, a variety of dried, fermented sausage from Catalunya.  It is stuffed in regular hog casings and not tied, so the workings of gravity give the sausage a taper from top to bottom, and their name (fuet means “whip” in Catalan).  The fermentation step is over and they are now drying happily in their chamber, though I am struggling with the heat and humidity of Japanese summer to keep the sausage within normal parameters.  We shall see how they turn out, but already the sausages smell well-fermented and look the part, and small colonies of good white mould have broken out on them already.  The recipe I used is a modification of that in the Marianski’s book.

It was one

of those days…

Strange weather for a Japanese summer on Sagami Bay, but I’m always glad to be out on the water, even on a day completely undisturbed by fish of any kind.  By the by, I didn’t go hungry in the evening thanks to the kindness of the skipper, but that story is for another post to come soon…

Caught some big ones

At least if you are a tanago angler…

It was hotter and humider than Satan’s codpiece last Sunday in Japan, but out at sea at least there was an occasional breath of wind to relieve the heat.  The weather did not interfere unnecessarily with the main objective of the day’s outing, which was to eat a very large amount of tenpura (whiting, megochi, squid, prawns, shiitake, lots of different veg) washed down with beer and shochu mixers.

I rather felt we were on board a sea-going izakaya rather than a fishing vessel, reinforced by the fact that this was a charter organised by my local bar and there were some very serious drinkers and eaters.  I had a lot of stuff to do in the evening so tried to avoid getting too roaring-drunk, but met with the immense kindness of my hosts (Japanese hospitality seems to get even stronger when out on the water) who plied me with more shochu, more beer, do I need more ice? and so forth.  The hillocks of straight-out-the-pot tenpura, the asari littleneck clams shucked, lovingly skewered on bamboo and grilled with a soy sauce glaze, the infinity of pickles and miso-shiru and rice made me decide I would not need to eat again for about a week (this proved to be wrong, though).

My homemade whiting rod is still giving good service, and occasionally I caught some fish in between the Yebisu beers straight out the cooler.

Thank you very much to Captain Yukio as always, Fukagawa Fujimi and all the regulars at my local izakaya!

Long day

under a hot sun!  I think the monsoon is now over in Japan, rapidly replaced by a burning-hot summer…

late Waterloo/early Father’s Day

Bread and butter pudding…