Salame + Cheese + Wine + Beer = :-)

It might happen in a favorite restaurant or at a friend’s dinner party. It’s that moment you taste something that’s so perfectly paired with just the right food and drink that no one flavor overwhelms the other. Such is the delight that salami can bring when the beer, wine or cheese you love succeeds in bringing out the spicy, rich flavors and textures of the meat in one memorable mouthful. There is no stopping at just one bite.

For many, charcuterie (pronounced shar-KOO-ter-ē), like wine, can be intimidating. Italian names can be difficult to pronounce, and is it salumi or salame?

  • Salumi is a collection of cured and cooked Italian-style meats that include salame, sausages, prosciutto and cotto.
  • Salame is a type of cured sausage consisting of fermented and air-dried pork. (Salami is just the plural of salame.)

So, all salame is salumi. But not all salumi is salame. Got it?

Enjoying Italian style meats doesn’t need to be complicated. So in an effort to demystify craft meats, we have made them more accessible than ever. We now offer three of our favorite artisan salami, pre-sliced for your convenience: Finocchiona, Crespone, and Hot Sopressata. With these pre-packaged offerings, we have made it easier than ever for you to try pairing salami with your favorite beverages and cheeses. As with all pairings, there are no rules. You should feel free to experiment and discover what pairs well for yourself. Trust your inner carnivore. Here are a few pairing suggestions to get you started:

  • Finocchiona (pronounced fin-Ō-kee-Ō-nă) is a Tuscan favorite known for its fennel notes. Hoppy IPA’s along with Pinot Noir and Merlot wines make for a good marriage with this classic. Goat cheeses, Gouda and mild hard cheeses like Grana Padano are well-suited for pairing with Finocchiona. Crunchy breadsticks and mildly flavored crackers showcase this salame well.
  • Sherry wine, garlic and special seasonings give our Crespone (pronounced krĕs-PŌ-nee) its deep color and slightly sweet flavor profile. A frosty Pilsner or crisp Pinot Grigio pairs well with this. Unflavored crackers, soft, mild triple cream cheeses and hard Parmigiano Reggiano all pair well with this favorite.
  • Our hearty Hot Sopressata (pronounced sō-prĕ-SĂ-tă) has hints of red chile and paprika that stand up well to aged Spanish cheeses like Mahon. Don’t be timid with a beverage choice — porter and stouts are good options. And a robust Barolo wine works equally well with this full-flavored salame. Crusty French bread and pickled sweet and spicy peppers also make good accompaniments to these savory meat flavors.

Of course these are just suggestions. Be adventurous. Experiment. Try new flavors. We’d love to see what you have discovered, so post your pairings on facebook, intstagram or pinterest and tag us @columbuscraftmeats #columbusmeats