Following the advice of basically every book ever published in English on the subject, in which green mold = deadly, horrible failure, I tossed them out. There are a few exceptions out there; members here mention washing it off and rehanging it, but only at the early stages.
Shortly after that disappointment, I went to Barcelona, where I had this experience:
While I was checking out the back room of a local charcutier who was taking care of the hams and sausages, I saw him grab a link of the dry-cured sobresada that was covered with the infamous green mold, grease up his hands with some olive oil, and rub the thing down with the oil. He then wiped it off a bit with a paper towel and put the sausage back in the display case. He proceded to do the same thing to the other sausages, most of which were just white-mold-y. When I asked the only person there who was fluent in English what was up, he shrugged and said, basically, that that's what's done. No muss, no fuss.
Still no answers.
Fast forward to August 2009. Chris Hennes and I are hitting the outer boroughs in search of good food, and we arrive here.
The justly famous Calabria Pork Store, on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. The place is the holy shrine of cured pork on the east coast, and it smells hog heavenly. Hundreds of sausages, sides of pork, hams, you name it are hanging overhead.
However, when you walk a bit closer to the product, you see this:
These sausages weren't speckled with green mold; they didn't have a bit here and there. Most of the product in room was coated 40-50% with fuzzy, green to blue mold.
Our jaws dropped. We asked the counter person three or four different times what the story was, and he looked at us like we were nuts. We got the sort of reaction you'd get if you tried to ask a crab on the ocean floor why it was so humid around here.
Meanwhile, Hennes and I ate about as much of the free sample plate as we could eat without being arrested. The stuff is fantastic: funky, rich, deep flavor that only the best cured pork gets. And we're not dead.
Something, clearly, is going on, and I'm hellbent on getting to the bottom of it. Here are my questions: 1. What, exactly, is this "fuzzy green mold"? What distinguishes "fuzzy green mold" from "chalky white mold"?
2. What effects do these molds have? How do you determine which effects are detrimental, beneficial, or both?
3. If, as all the books indicate, this "fuzzy green mold" is so terrible for you, why in the world is a premier salumeria displaying it overhead for all the world to see?
For starters, does anyone have any access to actual facts?