Salumi Cured Meats – Seattle


I’d been dying to get out of town for quite some time, so in classic Nina-style, Chad and I took an extremely last minute flight to Seattle earlier this week. I’ve never done less planning for a trip to a place that I’d never been before, which was fine because I wanted to be in a new environment and was certain that we could find entertainment one way or another. I just brainstormed potential places to visit while on the plane there and then looked around a little online and in Seattle magazine once at our hotel.

Salumi popped up second on my list, and I was instantly relieved that I thought of it. What if I’d missed my chance to try their meats??? Salumi is owned by Armandino Batali (also Chief Salumist), who has a chef son named Mario.

Salumi is in the Pioneer Sqaure district, and upon approaching its narrow storefront, you may confuse it for an LA cupcake shop — the line out the door is that long. But of course, this is a line for meat, glorious meat. Once you get inside the shop, you get to look at hanging cured meats until it’s your turn to order. Chad and I both got the Porchetta, their “tribute to the Pig.”

This photo doesn’t do justice to what is perhaps the best (and biggest) sandwich that I’ve ever had. Perfect pork shoulder perfectly braised, and garnished with onions and peppers. The bread was spread with a kind of garlic-studded oil. In fact, the whole sandwich was bathed in a kind of oily sheen, and while I’d normally try to get rid of that sort of thing, it was so full of flavor that I ate all of it that I could. I’d also normally want to know everything that was in the sandwich — there were SO many flavors — but I just wanted to eat and enjoy.

Despite the long line, there was no problem getting seats at the communal table (where there were open bottles of wine for $4.50 a glass!). Chad not only finished his sandwich, but also finished the last quarter of mine. Oddly, for all of the lovely pork, bread, and oil that I consumed, I didn’t really feel uncomfortably full afterwards… I felt just right….

Except that I regretted that I hadn’t actually tried cured meats or salami. Since their lunch is so busy, they recommend calling in sliced meat orders in advance, and it’s not like I could have bought a lot anyway..

Luckily, on our last day in Seattle, we happened into DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine in Pike Place Market. On top of a cured meats case, I noticed a basket full of 4 kinds of Salumi salami. I went on to make one of the best purchases I’ve made in my life. I asked the counterperson if he could just cut a few slices of each kind as a sort of sampler. I realized that it was a slightly fussy (and um, cheap) order, but the counterperson — I believe that his name was John — was SO nice and more than happy to fulfill the request. He carefully wrapped up about 4 slices of each one separately, and even labeled each one. He also gave me a (fantastic) taste of the Rosemary salami that is only available to buy in whole logs.

We walked out the wooden tables overlooking the water, and I opened my $3.29, .15# love letter of Salumi salami….

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Clockwise from top left, Mole, Finocchiona, Hot Sopressata, and Dario. Texture-wise, they seemed a little looser to me than other salami — like all of the bits of meat were comfortably kicking back together, not painfully shoved next to each other. The mole was “uniquely spiced with chocolate, cinnamon, ancho and chipotle peppers;” the finocchiona with cracked fennel, black pepper, and a touch of curry; the sopressata spicy and garlicky; the dario with nutmeg and mace. They were all delicious, though my absolute favorites were the mole and hot sopressata… but all that means is that I like their flavors the most, not that the others were in any way lacking…

Want. More. Now.

3 Responses to “Salumi Cured Meats – Seattle”

  1. T Says:

    Hi Nina,

    I’m glad you got to go to Salumi…it’s one of my favorite lunch stops here in Seattle. The porchetta sandwich is one of my favorites, but if you’re in town again and they have the oxtail sandwich, that one is even BETTER (if you can imagine that). =)

  2. Mandy Says:

    It looks like you found some of our good weather (which was a bit lacking over Labor Day…). It’s incredibly beautiful up here when the weather’s nice (though when it’s not nice, visits to Pike Place Market require fresh little donuts from Daily Dozen…).

    I’ve only made it to Salumi once, but it was good. However, my favorite food-related place here in Seattle is World Mechants Spice shop (www.worldspice.com). It’s below Pike Place Market, so considerably less trafficked than the kinda-touristy Market Spice (which has a wonderful selection of red teas that makes me brave the crowds anyway…), but it is *definitely* worthy of a stop. The walls are covered in sample jars of their spices and blends, and I can never leave there without spending at least $20 on rose petals, ras al hanout, chipotle flakes, etc. (just be advised that sniffing the fragrant smoked paprika will fill your sinuses with the aroma for the rest of the day–but it’s *so* good!). 🙂 They even have “true cinnamon” sticks, which are completely different from the more common cassia (less hot, more citrusy). I just love that place.

  3. Nina Says:

    T – Hm, an excuse to go back to Seattle that involves an oxtail sandwich?! Sold!

    Mandy – I almost titled my first post back “It Rains in Seattle?” I was so thrilled that we didn’t get a drop — and glad I didn’t bring my rain jacket as my jacket there!

    I’ll have to check out that spice shop the next time I’m there, too — their rose petals will be mine! 🙂 Chad and I went into Market Spice, but poor Chad had to duck out after a minute b/c he just couldn’t handle even just the aroma in the air.

    And I’ve experimented with “true cinnamon sticks” for a the spiced caramel nut bar — the citrus note was an interesting twist.

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