March 02 2014
What do you do with your loose change? Around here, we like to throw all our extra pennies into what we call our Salami Friday Fund. It’s amazing how quickly spare change can add up, and all the delicious cured meats and soft cheeses it can get you. On Friday afternoons, you can usually find us down the street at Belmont Butchery, or crowded around a table covered in charcuterie. Here’s an inside look at one of our most favorite things, Salami Friday.
Salami is a cured sausage that can originate from a variety of animals or even a mixture of different meats. It’s fermented and air dried, and sometimes flavored with ingredients like garlic, salt, pepper, fennel, or various herbs and spices. Salami and other fired meats first became popular in the 1500s, in order to preserve meat without refrigeration.
Cheese, of course, is derived from milk in a wide range of flavors and textures. One of our favorites is Saint Angel soft triple-cream cheese, which is made in the Côtes du Rhône area of southeast France.
Add a baguette or two, a few bottles of red wine, and a good group of friends, and you’ve got yourself all the making of a fantastic Salami Friday.
The longest salami ever made was 498.3 feet long, or taller than the Statue of Liberty and Leaning Tower of Pisa combined. Weirdly enough, salami can be added as rocket fuel because it is rich in nitrate, a key ingredient in many explosives.
There is an old Italian proverb that says, “Everything has an end except salame which has two.”
We get our meats, cheeses, bread and wine from our local butcher, Tanya Cauthen at Belmont Butchery. Tanya opened Belmont in 2006 with the idea of bringing restaurant-grade meats to the consumer market. We recommend getting your cured meats from Belmont when in Richmond, and she’ll help you pair the perfect wine and cheeses.