7 years, 400+ links tasted by the Mantry team. Here are 16 of the best from America's top salami makers.
Aurelia’s Chorizo Nachos Recipe Here
One of the most memorable parts of eating your way around Mexico are the breakfasts. Waking up steeped in a morning fog from one too many foamy beers the night before, it seems as if Mexican food was devised with a hangover in mind. Stumble up to any roadside stall and within minutes appears a plate of nourishing beans, sizzling eggs and garlicky chorizo all adorned with fresh pico de gallo. In a small town an hour north of Austin, Leslie Horne makes some of the best dry-cured chorizo in America, packing similar punch to the fresh Mexican variety. Slept through breaky? Nothing says ‘¡Vamos!’ at kickoff like chorizo nachos (Mantry.com/recipes)
Collard Greens with Pepperoni Recipe Here
What’s a Pittsburgh-based company know about Italian food? Well, what’s a humble cobbler know about aging meat? A lot, it turns out. Parma’s patriarch — the founder’s grandfather — was a Corsican shoemaker who started making his own salami after a particularly frustrating antipasto he had at a dinner party. Today the tradition continues, with good Berkshire pork, loads of zesty spice, and lots of patience. Nibble with cheese and a good glass of porch-side bourbon, or pass out slices to satisfy grumbling bellies as your guests await the evening meal — just be sure to save some pieces to mix into the sautéed collards.
Game Day Bloody Mary With Saucisson Sec Recipe Here
What started as a little slice — er, *un petite tranche* — of Paris in Greenwich Village has become a medal-draped charcuterie empire, with a factory in Wilkes-Barre and an Eiffel-sized spread of mustards, terrines, patés, and, of course, cured meats. The Three Pigs might not be *petit* anymore, but their work is just as tasty, like this air-dried sausage from the Pyrenees. At a Paris bistro, you’d top a slice with good Dijon and a crusty baguette — but stateside sidewalk cafes are made for brunching, and brunching means Bloodies, where a spear of sausage makes an indulgently irreverent garnish.
One hundred years ago, the original Schaller moved his Stuttgart butcher shop to Manhattan, but, as the saying goes, you can take the butcher out of Germany, but… well, the tongue-twistingly Teutonic names speak for themselves: bauernschinken, touristenwurst, nuss schinken. And so do the awards: a dozen gold medals at the Austrian Welser Fair alone. In fact, Schaller & Weber is the only American sausage maker to regularly challenge its German brethren on their home turf. Yeah, it’s that traditional. But should you need even more proof of their pedigree, slice into this German spin on a northern-Italy classic, an air-dried sausage made with good Berkshire pork.
Chorizo Mac & Cheese Recipe Here
Hot Imperial Chorizo // Pata Negra // Gloversville, NY
Named after Spain’s famous acorn-fattened black-hoofed pigs, Pata Negra brings the best of Andalusia to the foothills of the Adirondacks: high-grade hams, authentic Iberian *pimentón*, and a languorous five weeks’ aging (if the Spanish know anything, it’s the glory of a good nap). Snack on slices as a tapa while the grill heats up, and if there’s any left over (we doubt it), mix it into side salads or mac and cheese.
Pepperoni, Mozzarella & Basil Grilled Cheese Recipe Here
Meat in tube form, spiced and snappy — pepperoni is carnivorous perfection. No wonder it can swing from low-brow to high, a humble slice-topper to this, perfection elevated. As wayward syrup, escaping the pancakes, takes your breakfast sausage up a notch, so the sweet kiss of maple smoke adds a mellowing patina to the pepperoni’s spicy kick. Great as-is, better (of course) with cheese: two pieces of bread, a slice of mozz, a few discs of meat, a basil leaf if you’re fancy, plenty of butter, and a hot skillet.
Prosciutto, Pesto & Arugula Pizza Recipe Here
Creamy, salty, unctuously sweet — damn near meat candy — sliced from American hams patiently dry-cured with a centuries-old mix of salt and time. But you needn’t wait — this prosciutto is ready to eat right from the wrappings. Don’t tarnish its mellow flavors with a smoking-hot oven; instead, wait till your pie is cooked then drape a few slices over top, drizzle with bright young oil and a basil leaf or two.
The name’s Italian, but the accent’s humbly middle-west: The majestic oak (or quercia) is Iowa’s state tree, and from little ol’ Norwalk come the masters of American-made, Italian-style salumi. Heritage hams (Durocs and Berkshires, humanely raised), cut with care, aged with patience, and even spiced and salted with Yankee flair — the sea salt is from U.S. shores. Fried eggs in need of a kick? Add a slice or two of this oily link, aged two months with pimenton and chiles for a bloom of soothing smoke and feisty kick of chorizo-like spice.
This century-old, family-run charcutier is the real deal — the best of the wurst. When you picture a classic German sausage shop — plump, meaty butchers smiling behind the counter; plump, meaty links swaying in the window — you’re salivating over this: a traditional, slightly smoky dry-cured salami, studded with tangy garlic and pepper. A taste of the old country, no time-change, or time travel, required.
Herb Pancetta // Aux Délices des Bois // New York, NY
If a little bacon makes any dish a five-star meal, French bacon turns it downright Michelin-approved. This unsmoked, read-to-eat pancetta is salty, fatty, and perfumed with thyme and rosemary — perfect for mixing into soups and sauces, or adding some Parisian swagger to your burgers and BLTs.
Grilled Potato & Chorizo Salad Recipe here
Imperial Dry Cured Chorizo // Pata Negra // Gloversville, NY
Named after Spain’s famous acorn-fattened black-hoofed pigs, Pata Negra brings the best of Andalusia to the foothills of the Adirondacks: high-grade hams, authentic Iberian pimentón, and a languorous five weeks’ aging (if the Spanish know anything, it’s the glory of a good nap). Snack on slices as a tapa while the grill heats up, and if there’s any left over (we doubt it), wrap in foil with potatoes, onions, and a splash of aceite and grill for a juicy, bacon-rich potato salad.
A fourth generation salumi maker slow curing world-class salami in small town Virginia? Believe it. It might not be the rolling foothills of Italy by Olli Comlignoli has a foothold on building an Artisan empire stateside. Based on 160 year old family recipes this salami gets a healthy pour of Sangiovese and a light smoking over Applewood. No need to reinvent the wheel here, your favorite bottle of red, good cheese and crusty bread.
Truffles. For a short stint truffle oil was getting used and abused in restaurants across the nation as a quick and dirty reason to ring up the price tag on underwhelming pungent risottos and dollops of potato purée. It’s easy to forget that the delicate, earthy aroma of truffles when used correctly heightens pork to luxurious levels. Meat maestro Christiano Creminelli helps his pigs fly by hand tying and slowly curing local heritage pork with a blend of spices and black summer truffles. Nominated for two national specialty food awards both for outstanding meat product and outstanding new product Cristiano passes his skills he learned from his father to a lawn near you.
Curry Salami // Chop Butchery & Charcuterie // Portland, OR
Don’t look now, but a new frontier of old world style salami slingers are butchering, hanging and curing meats all across America. At Chop Butchery, located inside City Market in NW Portland, Eric Finley cranks out top-notch salami in limited 50 lb batches to ensure optimum quality. His Curry infused stick is a no brainer with an IPA or any ice cold brew.
Deciding the pre-made refrigerated gas station burger was a lost cause, Chris Bailey took a run at another ubiquitous pit stop offering and set out to upgrade the Summer Sausage. Scratch made in small batches using all natural meats from local farms, Bailey has somehow made the age old combo of crackers, sharp cheddar, summer sausage and an ice cold beer…better.
Paul Kahan, a five time James Beard Outstanding Chef nominee and the man behind the likes of Chicago’s Avec, Blackbird and The Publican shares one of his favorite artisan meat producers in America.
“La Quercia is simply the best American cured ham. I met Herb Eckhouse before he was selling commercially at a farmers market in Iowa and have been supporting him ever since. He uses the finest raw ingredients to make the best cured ham.”
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