Papa Batali's Greatest Creation
I have a new favorite salami and I have Armandino Batali to thank for it. For most gastronomes, siring Mario Batali would be culinary accomplishment enough. But Armandino, Mario's Dad, couldn't leave well enough alone. So after a career at Boeing, he learned charcuterie in Italy. The result: a teeny storefront in Seattle called Salumi Artisan Cured Meats (what else?) serving Italian cold cuts not only never previously seen in America, but original creations the likes of which even Italians would be in awe of.
Traditional sopressata, guanciale (pork jowls), pancetta, finocchiona (fennel) salami, and oregano salami stand side by side with a somewhat bizarre, but chocolaty mole salami, and my new favorite: agrumi. Agrumi is made with orange zest, hot red pepper flakes, and cardamom. Armandino's newest hit is called "Da Vino," a red wine and cinnamon dried sausage that will get me through this unbearable winter. That is, until spring when Armandino's housemade culatello and lamb prosciutto will be available again.
Now, you can find these porky products not only at Armandino's diminutive store in Seattle, but also in New York City at Eataly, where you might also see that other what's-his-name Batali.