lunedì 11 marzo 2013

Olli "Napoli": the Ultimate Salame

Today, I made an extraordinary culinary discovery: a salame, made here in the US, that not only surpasses any other domestic salame that I've tried, but rivals the salami imported from Italy. 

That may seem like a large claim, but there are two reasons why it is credible:

(1) The company uses 160-year-old recipes and techniques of its founder, Oliviero "Olli" Colmignoli.

(2) Understand that any cold cuts that are allowed to enter the US must, alas, contain a certain amount of chemicals. Otherwise, the FDA would not allow them into this country.  Italian companies like Beretta, wonderful as they are, cannot export as pure a product as Olli offers.

Olli seeks to use the best available pigs in America. They are humanely raised. They are vegetarian. They are antibiotic-free. And the meat is slow-cured at very low temperatures which never exceed 72º F.

The word that came to mind when I first bit into this "Napoli" salame was balance.  The subtle smokiness (the salame is applewood-smoked), the wine (Sangiovese), the peppercorns, and the fennel are an ideal quartet of flavors.  There is no such thing as "perfect"; but this salame comes dangerously close.

Could I take issue with the name "Napoli"?  Sure.  Apple trees are not plentiful in warm Naples, where salami are smoked with chestnut wood, sometimes with the addition of hay for extra flavor.  If Neapolitans added wine to their salami, it certainly would not have been a Tuscan Sangiovese. And it is curious that the company recommends pairing Napoli not with Caciocavallo or Scamorza, but Taleggio, a famous soft cheese from the Alps!

But the name is the only criticism that could fairly be made of this outrageously delicious salame. There are good products, and there are products that improve the quality of your gastronomical life. Olli's salami fall in the latter category.

Olli™ Salumeria
Mechanicsville, Virginia

3 commenti:

  1. A vederlo sembra ottimo, mi fido del tuo gusto per il resto. Sono d'accordo con le tue critiche. Ma è difficile avere il coraggio di dare un nome nuovo rischiando di perdere vendite. Ma sicuramente meriterebbe diventare un autentico Virginia o Neapolitan Olli.

    1. Alla fine, "Cosa c'è in un nome? Ciò che chiamiamo rosa anche con un altro nome ..." Il fatto rimane che il sapore è FANTASTICO -- genuino, senza troppi chimici. Chi se ne frega del nome?! Grazie per il comment.

    2. Avevi letto questo?
      ciao buona giornata