December 25, 2004


In my family, we don't usually cook much for Christmahanukwanzaka. Instead, we hunt and gather for delectable morsels and then graze all day long on smoked fish, spendy cheese, cured meats, and other cocktail-time treats. This year was no exception, and my brother came through with the goods: fabulous fatty smoked sockeye from Washington State, a trio of the finest salumi on earth, and a stash of Pennsylvania Dutch treasures.

The salumi is the handiwork of Armandino Batali, proprietor and genius host of Salumi in Seattle. He makes his own cured meats, both in traditional Italian styles and in creative new flavors like lamb prosciutto and vanilla salami. This year's selection was perennial-favorite oregano salami, mole salami with deep dark choco-mexi-spice, and some spicy paprika sticks. My brother used to work down the street and ate lunch there a few times a week, and every year he brings meat presents from Salumi for us back east. (The restaurant makes the best Italian food I've ever had anywhere, but it's only open for lunch. Plan ahead.)

The Pennsylvania Dutch stash was mailordered from Dietrich's Meats. Left to right in the photo, after the salumi on the far left, there's sweet & spicy stix, Lebanon bologna (a super-smoky beef treat, oh yeah), spicy pickled bologna, mustard bean pickles (really good, on the very short list of best pickles ever), and pork roll fried to a crunchy goodness.

It's been a very happy holiday. Slurp.

Posted by foodnerd at December 25, 2004 11:50 PM

For the first time, I actually regret visiting today. My mouth is watering and it's still about 3 hours till dinner.

Posted by: dave at December 27, 2004 02:40 PM


We did a meatfest yesterday, turned out JUST FINE !! I was up at 4:10am firing up the smoker. Seemed weird being out in the yard that early. It wasn't until sunrise I felt better, I thought for sure the neighbors would have called the cops on me. Skulking about and all. All the work was well worth it, you bet.


Posted by: Dr. Biggles at December 27, 2004 05:07 PM
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