By Analiese Paik
I tend to get a bit obsessive about food – where it’s grown, how it’s grown, who’s growing and making it, whether it’s organic and sustainable, and whether it’s an heirloom variety or heritage breed. And you probably care a lot about these things too if you’re reading this blog.
Welcome to my latest obsession – Gusto Small-Batch Organic Salami.
I’ve been checking the salami shelf at my local Whole Foods Market in Fairfield for months just waiting for this product to show up. I think I remember OLLI Salumeria, the parent company founded by a fourth generation Italian salume craftsman, talking about this exclusive-to-Whole Foods product on Twitter. How else would I have known it was coming?
Well, it’s here! I bought two flavors today, Piccante and Genoa, and before I could even take a photo, my oldest son ripped into the Piccante bag and cut himself a few slices for an after school snack.
That beautiful reddish color and smoky flavor come from smoked paprika, the predominant seasoning in the Piccante (spicy) version. Crushed chili and cayenne powder provide the kick. The Genoa style is mildly seasoned with white pepper and garlic. Organic Shiraz (Australian for Syrah) is used in both, and would actually make a great wine pairing. Both salami are rich and delicious, and seasoned to let the flavor of the pork shine through.
While reading through Gusto’s website, I learned that the pork is from heritage breeds! Becker Lane Organic Farm in Iowa, the sixth generation, family-owned farm that supplies their pork, raises and breeds Berkshire and Chester White pigs. Unlike breeds raised on factory farms, heritage breeds thrive on grass-based farms and are prized for their flavor.
Whole Foods, I’m impressed. Someone is thinking ahead. Well ahead of the rest of the market that is always trying to catch up with them.
Serving ideas? Start with a classic charcuterie and cheese plate, but please make the cheese special. Crack open your best honey (comb would be lovely!), jams, crackers or artisan breads.
Gusto Organic Salami is soy, egg, milk, nut, and gluten-free. Peel before eating.
Visit Gusto’s website: http://gustocraft.com/#product
Visit Becker Lane Organic Farm’s website: http://beckerlaneorganic.com/
Available at Whole Foods Market in Fairfield, CT and other locations.