Salumi, defined

“As Life’s pleasures go, food is second only to sex.  Except for salami and eggs.  Now that’s better than sex.  But only if the salami is thickly sliced.”

-Alan King, Comedian

Thought: If I could rewrite the rhythm and harmony that the salami sang to my belly when my teeth dug..

Thought: Pavarotti, I’m sure, ate a lot of Salumi.  Bridge the connection.

Thought: What does Salami mean to you now?

How about something easier.

Salami~1990 definition: n. a piece of mystery meat that is salty and tastes good, with lots of nitrates and preservatives, says my Mom.  to be consumed with cheese and red vines.  Utterly Delicious – on par with Carl Buddig turkey.

Salami September 20 something, 2012 definition: n. a piece of heaven, cured expertly, under strict humidities, temperatures, and with skills.  Like baking, there are innumerable ratios and combinations.  Mangalitsa pig, baby pig, wild boar loin, wild boar leg, testa rossa, my head spins just thinking of the computations.  Where’s my wine? Give me some cuts of salami.  Is it 2pm yet?

Sure, my 1990 definition meant a lot more to me while I was taking sailing classes, enjoying the ho-hum of the non-motors, the wind in my sunkissed face as I tacked and jibed, a Swiss-army knife in hand as I waited for the lulls in the wind – with nothing more than a heavily processed salami, a brick of cheese with some crackers.  Unfortunately at the time when I just turned roughly six, there was No wine – yet.  Salami was my happiness.  There was only one kind, just like one kind of bologna – And to be enjoyed sparingly.

But as I grew older, I would come to know that salami, wine, cheese…would certainly be a 3-way marriage that God would approve of.  Especially on hikes, hunts, on afternoon quaffs on the front porch.

On the topic of curing, Last week marked the curing of the World famous Acunto pizza oven at Bestia(Opening in early October, Downtown Los Angeles! – I’ll write more on the funding, the building, and the opening in a later entry).

But for now, let us indulge in pictures to whet your appetite of homemade salami…

Olivewood to the left, Hickory to the right.  ~ 5 day cure to extract moisture and bring the oven to temperature.  Amazing the convection on this beautiful oven.

foraging – bay leaf, california sage, Sage.  The flavor is more intense, more fresh, and delicious.  A big movement among chefs in America these days…

Hang upside-down to dry.

Burn, baby, burn

Chef Ori got his first kill on a beautiful Wild Boar and I was extremely fortunate to be a part of it – having brought him into the way of life.  Hunting simply gives a new appreciation for life and death and deeper understanding of nose to tail eating, and what it means to control the food from start to finish.  This is one of the insanely large tusks from a 250 pound wild boar.  He boiled it for me and I’ll be adding it to the collection.

We’ve been experimenting with a few items.  New charcuterie slicer. 

The color on the Bresaola.  Like beautiful stained-glass.

Spending an afternoon waiting for the sun to set, staring at the arts district Loft building as the realization of a dream Restaurant builds, builds, and begins to unfold before our eyes.   

Ori and the Building Manager with 5 of 30 different types of salumi.
Salumi n. – edible beauty, personified. (from left, wild boar lomo, orange and fennel salami, wild boar salami, bresaola, center: calabrian salami)