I am crossing my fingers that my daughters took the hint that the only thing on my Amazon wish list is a sausage stuffer. I've been really interested in making all kinds of sausages, particularly salami as I love it but want to completely control what goes into it. In researching recipes, they all call for a mixture of nitrate and nitrate to inhibit the growth of undesirable bacteria, such as Clostridium, which causes botulism. As explained here http://home.pacbell.net/lpoli/page0002.htm, the nitrate, to be useful, must be converted to nitrite.
I know there are a lot of smart people here, so please tell me how I can make salami or other cured meats successfully without adding nitrate. How did they do it back in the olden days?