Top 5 Salamis of 2018
By: Zach Diamond
‘Nduja dates back to around the 13th century in the southern part of Calabria and has been pleasing mouths with a proclivity towards spice ever since. While we love the heat it offers, ‘nduja makes our list because of its versatility. Our ‘nduja is made from berkshire fatback and shoulder trim. With smoked hot paprika and a blend of 5 dried chilies, this spreadable salami has been a top seller because of its immense versatility. Add a spoonful to pasta to raise the heat, or infuse it into butter to make the perfect ingredient for basting. If you’re a purist, spread it on fresh bread with a ripe cheese and pair it with a full-bodied Italian red. ‘Nduja is great for those who like to be creative in the kitchen. With a rich, creamy texture and unique blend of heat and flavor, we know you will find a way to use it. Post a picture of the dish you make with ‘nduja and tag us on Instagram!
To be fair, this salami would make it onto our top 5 list every year. A traditional, dry-cured salami hailing from southern Italy, Soppressata has many variations from region to region. Our soppressata is highlighted by red pepper flakes and aromatic fresh thyme to add subtle earthy sweetness. Soppressata is a crowd-pleaser - slice it thin to put on sandwiches or add it to any charcuterie plate. Check out this recipe where it can be used as the salami!
Like the soppressata, our Spanish chorizo is hanged and dry-cured to achieve perfect ripeness. However, this salami boasts strong herbs and spices such as garlic, cayenne, and smoked paprika. Add this to a charcuterie plate to give your guests something new to try and to switch it up from Italian-style meats. Dice it to add richness to a paella or a tapas dish, or eat it simply with manchego and crackers paired with a nice Rioja. Most traditional spanish chorizo is strictly made from spanish pimenton and garlic. Our version is made with three different types of chiles, sherry, and herbs to produce a rich salami with a nuanced flavor profile.
A Wisconsin favorite! While not technically a salami, our Summer Sausage is too good to miss the list. We learned the technique for this sausage from a 4th-generation German chef. Fermented overnight for a subtle and pleasing tang, this smoked and fully cooked sausage stands out from the rest. Robust and minerally beef heart is the main ingredient, balanced by rich pork belly. Mustard seed and allspice push the flavor over the top. For the perfect picnic snack, pair this sausage with a smooth, neutral cheese like havarti or cheddar to complement the acidity. Of course, chase it down with a cold German Pilsner. Otherwise, slice it, pan fry it slightly and put it on an English muffin with egg and cheese for a breakfast treat. If you are really feeling adventurous, slice thin lengthwise and grill it as a pastrami substitute for an amazing Reuben.
During the Renaissance in Europe, prices of black pepper soared due to increased demand. In response, people of Tuscany turned to a local weed that was growing rampantly in the countryside - fennel. At last, the finocchiona salami was born. This brightly flavored salami is dry-cured and our version leans on a lesser known northern Italian recipe, using white wine instead of the traditional red. Loads of toasted fennel seed and white pepper make this salami a favorite of young and old. On a charcuterie board, finocchiona goes splendidly with parmigiano reggiano and Mediterranean olives.