An American Salumi Manifesto
Salumi are the noblest expression of meat – a marriage with salt, spice, and time that transcends individual ingredients.
Just as fine wine is more than fermented grape juice, fine salumi are more than mere salted meats. At their best, salumi connect us to the earth, reveal the essence of the whole animal, demonstrate respect for our ancestors, and inspire our humanity.
All great cultures have ancient traditions for food preservation that elevate meat beyond the realm of ordinary. Here in the United States, that tradition has been sacrificed in the name of efficiency, speed, and cost.
The time has arrived for a renaissance of American Salumi.
This movement will be led – first and foremost – by individual salumi lovers who recognize the character of fine salumi and value its place in their lives.
Fine salumi begin with extraordinary meat. Humanely and sustainably raised animals from heritage-breed genetics produce the best-tasting salumi. Industrially raised animals from modern cross-bred genetics produce inferior meat not suited for fine salumi.
Salumi celebrate the beauty of animal fat. Fat balances the flavor, texture, color of fine salumi. Contrary to common perception, pork fat is healthful: it is lower in saturated fat than butter and has twice the monounsaturated fat.
Salt is an essential element in preserving salumi. Salt illuminates the true flavor of salumi, it does not overpower it. Natural sea salts lend a milder flavor to salumi than do refined salts.
Fine salumi harmonize the flavors of meat, salt, and spice. Using fresh spices of the highest quality is no less important than using the best meats and salts.
Time is the most critical component in fine salumi. Increasing salt content and adding heat will accelerate salumi production but ruin the quality. Fine salumi simply cannot be rushed – there is no substitute for time.
Appreciation of salumi requires the patience to wait for the salumi to reach its peak perfection, a fleeting moment when taste is at its best. Fine salumi promote moderation by delivering a powerful taste experience in an unpretentious portion.
Fine salumi teach us to live a patient life in pursuit of flavor, rather than a relentless hunt for ever-increasing quantity – to seek better, not more. This approach is not only good for the individual, it’s better for the world.