Here at Fairway Market, we love great foods with good stories. And we love salami. It follows that Fra’ Mani’s handcrafted salami has us obsessed and elated. It makes a fabulous way to start a meal, spread out with some crusty bread and good cheese. It’s also the must-have part of a killer sandwich you’ll impress all by making when you want to settle in to celebrate a big football game.
Fra’ Mani Founder and Curemaster Paul Bertolli had a wildly successful and influential cooking career, notably as a chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and as a chef and co-owner of Oliveto Restaurant in Oakland, California. It was at Oliveto that he began making his own charcuterie. It took off, garnering lots of press and igniting a nationwide fascination with cured meats. He loved the process so much that he left his restaurant to devote himself to making extraordinary Italian-style charcuterie.
If you think salami is salami is salami, you are hugely mistaken. The fine art of making charcuterie is a centuries-old tradition. It takes enormous skill and finesse to do it right. The result? Otherworldly.
Before one could stick meat in the fridge or freezer, spicing, and curing was the best way to preserve the whole hog. And thus wonderful creations like soppressata and salami were born. And the world became a better, tastier place.
Paul has received just as much or more acclaim for his salami than he did for his restaurants. And for good reason. Salami of this stunning quality is unprecedented in the United States. Fra’ Mani uses meat from Berkshire pork, an obscenely tasty heritage breed, raised humanely on small family farms. Paul’s team then cuts the meat, lays it out on racks for chilling and drying, mixes it with fragrant seasonings, stuffs it into natural pork casing, hand-ties the sausages with twine, and hangs the salami for fermentation, drying, and aging in the carefully calibrated Fra’ Mani cellars.
The result is intoxicating: a staggering depth of flavor and aroma. We are happy to brag that we carry these five Fra’ Mani salami varieties — the key ingredient in your next football sub!
Salametto: small, sweet, and garlicky
Nostrano: bigger, bolder and loaded with black pepper, garlic, and white wine
Gentile: sweet and mild-mannered
Soppressata: big, meaty, and fragrant with cloves
Toscano: beautiful deep burgundy color, and slightly smoky
TELL US: What’s your favorite way to enjoy serious salami?