The Best Damn Cured Meat Around

I’m a big fan of handmade things, as my readers know.  Whether it’s bread or furniture, I think the skill of the artisan imbues in raw materials something far greater than the sum of its parts.  I was recently commanded by my wife to stop at the farmer’s market and get some chorizo from the cured meat stand.  This is a new stand to our little farmer’s market and I found it manned by a guy with ponytail and facial hair that looked like he stepped straight from the cover of a Doobie Brothers record.  Even better, he referred to everyone as brother and sister.  “Hey brother, try out a sample of this.”  He had half a dozen types of cured meats wrapped in brown paper, and a tiny gas grill to make fresh hot sandwiches.  My interest piqued and stomach growling, I ordered the creatively-named “meat sandwich”.  Let me tell you, brother, this sandwich needs some better marketing because it’s way more than a sandwich.  The owner sliced off thin discs of several different cured meats with a mandoline, topped it with fresh arugula, arrayed a fan of sliced peppercorn goat cheese, topped the mountain of food with a swirl of chimichurri sauce, and packed it inside a grilled baguette.

I guess I’ve never really had a meat sandwich before.  The complexity and richness of flavor was so phenomenal I had to restrain myself from eating the sandwich’s paper wrapper when I was done.  Let me explain it like this:  fine cured meat is like fine wine in that the flavor builds in waves.  In the first taste you get spice and heat, then a rich earthy base, notes of herbs, and a long timpani-roll of a finish.  With one bite of chorizo you could enjoy ten seconds of evolving flavor, so an entire sandwich of different cured meats was a true symphony.

For lunch the next day I had only slices of chorizo and chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano.  Sometimes it doesn’t cost much to lead a rich life.

Writer, architect, father, husband.

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4 comments on “The Best Damn Cured Meat Around
  1. Samantha says:

    Yumm!! Gonna need some of this when I come visit in June!!

  2. A meat sandwich in Australia would get you two slice of bread (probably white processed bread) a thick layer or margarine on each slice of bread and then either a slice of ham, or roast beef, or silverside meat in the middle. Just one slice, and only one type of meat. A posh meat sandwich would have a little pickle or relish.

  3. Chris says:

    I’ve been a supporter of Albert’s craft since his days with Knights Salumi. If that company didn’t close, he wouldn’t have had this opportunity to deliver a BETTER product. His every modification to recipe, pig breed and more were spot on.

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