Storing Sopressata

I don’t know anything about cured meats. I bought a package of soppressata for an antipasti salad. Once I got home, I noticed that the package says “KEEP REFRIGERATED”. However, they were just sitting in an unrefrigerated basket at the store (a store that, incidentally, prides itself on nice, interesting charcuterie) and they didn’t feel cold at all when I picked them up. I put them in the fridge, but how should I actually be storing these, and how do they last?


The shop sells it every day so that’s probably why it’s not stored in the fridge. Was it already cut open when you bought it?

Seal your leftover salami well, store in the fridge and eat it quickly. Not nice and not safe when you see mould begins to appear.

Charcuterie is generally safe to keep for some time if properly handled and stored. All over Europe you see charcuterie hung from a height in the shops or stored under glass counters.

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I don’t think it was cut open. It’s just a couple of shrink wrapped logs. I’m not sure when they were originally packaged.

If it was sold packaged, I would follow the package instructions if you expect to keep it around for more than a week at most after you open it. (And for that matter, refrigerating it even before you open it will extend its shelf life.)

You can’t count on “modern”, commercially-produced cured meats to have the same shelf-life as traditionally-cured products; and most people keep their homes warmer than shops, and much warmer than pre-modern homes (without central heating). All else aside, packaged sausages usually aren’t dried to the same degree that traditionally-cured meats are, and it’s likely to start “weeping” oil sooner rather than later at room temperature, especially during warmer weather, which we’re coming up on now in the northern hemisphere. “Weeping” isn’t a food safety problem, but can get messy, and past a certain point, will change the texture of sausage. (That might be Good or Bad, depending on your perspective, but it’s something to consider.)


For many years my family made their own “soupy” and cured it by hanging from the rafters in a Very cold attic during the winter. Then it was stored in the basement in a large glass jar filled with what I assume was olive oil. One year the winter weather didn’t cooperate (too mild) and everyone had to throw it out. That’s when they started buying it and refrigerating/freezing. But it never even came close to the sopressata in oil.

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I find these keep very well at room temperature until they are cut, but once cut I put them in the fridge. They still keep for a long time in log form, though. The pre-sliced stuff goes off pretty quickly, but the logs haven’t been exposed to as much air (or bacteria from the slicing apparatus) so they keep much longer.