Meat with a bit of heat
This Italian cured meat from Calabria is spiced just right, with salty nuances and a bit of heat.
NOTES FROM THE CURATOR
A log of deep, bright red with notable marbles of white, the salami picante is dry-cured and made with heritage breed pork. It gives off a slightly strong, spicy, acidic aroma. On the tongue, this cured meat is salty and meaty, with a particular heat that only adds to its taste. The spiciness is balanced just right, never overwhelming or distracting, just perfectly harmonizing with the rest of its flavor.
PREPARATION AND PAIRINGS
With its strong flavor, the salami picante is already excellent on its own. Serve it on a charcuterie board, alongside different cheeses and other cured meats.
Or, if you prefer to really up its spicy, savory properties, have it with some black olives and a sprinkle of chili oil.
Another incredible way to enjoy this cured meat is on a pizza. And who doesn’t love pizza? Make an easy pizza dough, spread some tomato sauce, lay some slices of salami picante, shower with mozzarella, and top with basil leaves, or rocket arugula. Drizzle with olive oil, or honey, and you’ll want to eat the whole thing yourself.
To match the spiciness, pair with a fresh, light, medium-bodied rosé wine such as Ramón Bilbao Rosado that come in a pale salmon color and wafts beautiful citrus scents as you pour it. Enjoy undercurrents of orange, redcurrant and apricot— fruity flavors enough to balance the heat!
A CASE OF MISCOMMUNICATION
Americans would often call the salami picante, pepperoni. When in fact, the pepperoni or peperone, in Italian, is actually a sweet bell pepper. But this cured meat from Calabria is more often made and spiced with hot chili peppers, or in generic Italian terms, peperoncino.
It’s a pretty understandable mix-up. Although, you’d be smart to be careful about what you order on your pizza when you go to Italy!
This type of sausage may be stored for up to 6 weeks (if whole) in your pantry and indefinitely in the refrigerator (whole or in vacuum-packed slices). After opening, they should be used within 3 weeks.