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Soppressata Salami

As you know, sausage is ground meat mixed with about 30% fat. Salt, pepper, seasonings and preservatives are then added to the mixture, which is then usually stuffed into a casing.  There are endless varieties of sausage—fresh/cured, soft/firm, course/fine ground, moist/dry and ready to eat or ready for the pan.  Salami is a variety of sausage that is cured, firm, dry and ready to eat.  Pepperoni is the best-known salami in this country.  The Italians make a large variety of salamis and arguably the best of quality.

I recently discovered Italy’s Soppressata salami.  Soppressata is a dry cured, uncooked salami made of 80/20 percent coarsely ground pork/beef and diced fat.  It is well seasoned with spices, cracked peppercorns and red wine.  The mixture is air-dried cured and pressed, yielding a firm salami.  You will find Sweet Soppressata at most delis where it is sold thinly sliced (Citterio is a popular brand, Boar's Head too). This is high-end salami!  It costs about $12 a pound.  (Photo subject courtesy of Giant's Someplace Special)

Uses? 

1.  I have found it to be a superior wrap for grilled corn on the cob, more interesting than bacon.  Carefully peel the husk back on each ear of corn, clean out the corn silk, wrap the cob with two slices of Soppressata, replace the husk to cover the corn and salami, wire it shut to keep it all in place as it grills on a raised rack to done, about 20 minutes.  Soppressata is superior to bacon in that it sends less fat to the corn as it cooks.  More better, when the corn is done and husked, the two slices of Soppressata cling to the corn, crisp, dry and delicious.  Whereas when bacon is used, it remains greasy, undone and inedible.

2.  Substitute short strips Soppressata for Prosciutto di Parma on your Sunday morning melon.  The taste is great and it is far less chewy than cold prosciutto.

3.  Slip a slice or two of Soppressata in your grilled cheese sandwich, before grilling, of course.  Other sandwiches too, of course.

4.  Use overlapping slices of Soppressata to line the inside of your pate terrine, as in my Pleasant Grove Terrine

5.  Lastly, it’s great in tossed salads, and . . . what’s antipasto without salami, eh?


 


 

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