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How to Recognize Quality Lukanka

Bulgarian Lukanka

It isn’t just connoisseurs of cured meat being captured by the authentic taste of lukanka.

By now, it’s well-known that lukanka dried-salami and sujuk are distinguished by their distinct odor and white mold. According to meat producers, though, you needn’t be an expert to recognize a quality cured kolbasa. Heeding their sound advice can direct you to a cured kolbasa capable of meeting your specific tastes.

But what else can be learned about them?

Bright red color

Dried deli meats from Serdika Foods of this type feature a characteristic red color that’s bright and quite natural - a few shades deeper than raw meat. In fact, it’s recommended to ignore cured meats featuring hues outside of this description. Different shades of pink, for example, are completely undesirable. To guarantee quality, freshness, and a product free of additives and colorings, upon cutting lukanka, its color should change - turning grayer after about a half an hour. A color that remains stable after cutting is a sign of additives and enhancers which can take away from the natural pedigree of the product

The “white” surface

It’s namely about the “noble” white mold which forms as a result of the ripening process of lukanka and sujuk. Should you happen upon lukanka or sujuk featuring a perfectly smooth surface, the meat was likely cleaned and, immediately after, packaged. Proper methods and high standards of production, however, actually exclude such processes, as they’re not particularly wholesome. 

If the top of the lukanka is a darker shade of brown turning black, you’re witnessing active oxidation. 

The aroma of mature meat 

Though it requires minimal knowledge in order to be recognized, a few tips can help you better orientate yourself. You shouldn’t sense anything vinegary or lemony. And though notes of lactic acid are normal, they should be delicate and not pervasive. Under no circumstances should there be rancidity. Just well-matured meat, herbs, and spices - a real pleasure for the senses.

Level of hardness

Squeezing the lukanka from the thinner sides creates minor indentations which should recover after after a few minutes. Should the indentations remain, the meat may either not have dried enough and/or fermentation could still be taking place. A sufficiently hard consistency means the meat has adequately dried.

Look for the perfect medium - neither too elastic, nor too hard.

Marked succulence

Finally - you’re approaching the moment when you’ll not only try the delicacy, but share its savor. This is without a doubt the most worthwhile step, provided there’s quality cured meat on the table, of course. Like a distinguished taste tester, carefully check that the succulence is
pronounced, but not overpowering. What’s more, you shouldn’t encounter dry or hard bits, but rather a uniformity and harmony upon indulging.

Only meat which hasn’t been frozen

This “secret” is a bit more difficult to get, unless you have full confidence in retailers or wholesalers - whether online or in-person. But so you’re well-informed - while meat should always be kept at low temperatures, keeping it frozen for long periods before making lukanka is strongly discouraged.


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