Superb Salumi

Can't stop at just one slice.

When chef-cookbook author-cooking host Michael Chiarello opened his flagship NapaStyle store in Yountville last year,  he finally had enough space for a curing room.

Like his other five NapaStyle stores in California, the Yountville one also boasts a tempting array of specialty cookware and gourmet ingredients. But this one also features a wine bar, as well as a cafe that serves sandwiches and salads.

When I visited recently, I was after what came out of the curing room — artisan cured meats.

Hand-crafted salumi seems to be the rage these days among Bay Area chefs. You have Paul Bertolli, former executive chef of Oakland’s Oliveto, turning out his wonderful Fra’Mani salumi. You have Chris Cosentino, chef of San Francisco’s Incanto, selling his brand of Boccalone cured meats.

Now comes Chiarello with his salumi that’s sold on his NapaStyle Web site, and in his stores. I couldn’t resist buying the “Roasted Garlic & Rosemary” and “Parmesan” salumi, each $12.

NapaStyle artisan salumi.

What I enjoy about artisan salumi is that the taste isn’t overwhelmingly of salt like mass-produced varieties. Instead, there’s a rich, meaty, porky-ness to them. Chiarello’s is no exception. The rosemary was a nice touch, as rosemary and pork are such natural partners.

The parmesan was just inspired; the salty, aged cheese gives a deeper, more complex savory flavor.  There’s also an unexpected kick of spicy pepper in this one. If you love salami and cheese sandwiches, this is like the best of both worlds in one bite.

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  • It looks really delicious! A friend of mine gave me a Tuscan wild boar salumi… I can’t wait to taste it!



  • I went to his store while I was in Napa last week. I didn’t know about the salumi, if I had known it was good I would have bought some! That’s ok, I’m sure I’ll be back soon 🙂

  • mmmm, that picture is torture! I was reading Michael Bauer’s description of Addesso salumi this morning too… must get some soon.

  • We call those slices “meat cookies”. Mmmmmm.

  • “there’s a rich, meaty, porky-ness to them”…You’re singing my song…

  • Rosa: Wild boar salumi? You must tell us how it is when you try it. Sounds delicious.

    Bob: My hubby, Meat Boy, would no doubt love the term “meat cookies”! I know I do.

  • I’d love these with a glass of wine and some good cheese to pai!

  • A rising trend in artisan cured meats? I’m in heaven.

  • Hey, in Spain we call this “salchichon”, and in some parts of spain it’s “longaniza”, really great with chips, olives and a beer on a sunday morning.

  • While I thoroughly enjoyed your description and photos of salumi, Esti’s comment about a Sunday morning pairing with chips, olives and beer puts it over the edge from ‘wish I could’ to ‘I must have’!

  • I want to order some of the boccalone just so they can deliver it on their bicycle. I just think that would be cool.

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