Friday, July 27, 2012

Address to a Salame

The art and craft of salumi goes back to the Romans and Greeks; essentially stuffing animal parts into the animal's own guts. Robert Burns wrote a famous poem, "Address to a Haggis": But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, The trembling earth resounds his tread. Clap in his walie nieve a blade, He'll make it whissle I was thinking of trying to translate that from Scots into Italian but not right now. Haggis actually is a sausage; a lamb's stomach stuffed with things like lamb's "lights" and oats and so on. Actually it's damn good if you are adventurous. Andrew Zimmern could probably consume three. It's grand to see the rise of the Italian style artisan salumeria on the West Coast: Armandino Batali (Mario's dad) has Salumi in Seattle, Chris Cosentino owns Boccalone in San Francisco, Paul Bertolli, formerly of Oliveto, has Fra' Mani. All making wonderful products. A comparative newcomer is Alle-Pia out of Atascadero, CA. Originally they were known as Allesina but are transitioning out of that name because of trademark issues. The owner of this family business is Antonio Varia who owns the Buona Tavola restaurants in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. His nephew, my friend Alex Pellini, manages the plant. Recently I dropped down to get a quick tour of the facility. Here you can see some happy sausage makers at work:
Right now Alle-Pia is producing six types of dry cured salumi as well as some fresh ones. I really like the Tartuffo with truffles. Their products are available from the San Francisco Bay Area to San Diego. To find out where you can buy them go to Good stuff!