My batch of fennel salami (I won’t write the Italian for it, being also a vulgar term) is now ready after five weeks of drying. This was the first time I have used artificial casings for salami, mostly because they are readily available by mail order here in Japan, unlike salted beef middles, and also because the last time I used big natural casings for salami the smell was so bad the memsahib banned me from ever de-salting them in our kitchen again. The taste and texture came out pretty good though the drying was slightly uneven (possibly because I was in Guam for a week and couldn’t attend the drying chamber during that time) but I am most happy with the definition of the fat and the ratio of meat and fat within the sausage. Since this was the first time using artificial casings there was a possibility of mucking this up so I just used regular local supermarket pork, resulting in the salami lacking the really complex layers of flavour and nicely perfumed fat you get using good pork; it was still pretty damn good and leagues ahead of anything you can buy in the store. Thanks also to Mr. W. for the excellent quality fennel!