(photo: Columbus Artisan line seasonal cacciatore)
I’ve written about Columbus’ Artisan salumi line in the past (including their hot sopressata, cacciatore, finocchiona, crespone, salami secchi, and standard Sopressata) and their high-end line is outstanding as it’s made with a higher grade of pork, allowed to age 21-90 days, hand tied and stuffed, and made with natural casings. Click here if you’re interested in learning more about how salumi is made.
(photo: Artisan truffle cacciatore before hand slicing)
Columbus recently released a new line of holiday salame aimed at a larger, mass market, audience; namely, “wine salame” The salame collection includes: Cabernet Sauvignon (with juniper berries), Pinot Noir (with pink peppercorns), and Pinot Grigio (with lemon zest). The salame is aged minimally and has no natural casing. Columbus also recently introduced a seasonal, artisan, line of cacciatore made with both porcini and truffles.
(photo: wine salame on left and cacciatore on right; the photo doesn’t do justice to the differences in exterior mold and composition of the meat itself)
(photo: wine salame and aged Italian provolone platter)
Our family sampled both types of salumi during the Thanksgiving holiday and we were impressed, as in the past, with the Columbus artisan line. The porcini cacciatore, specifically, had a deep, woodsy, flavor component with a good combination of fat and meat (I would have liked to have seen a little less fat in the pork mixture but with all handmade salumi it varies from batch to batch). Both the porcini and truffle salumi had nicely aged natural casings with good mold development (this is the white component on the exterior of the salame and does many things including help the meat maintain good moisture as well as impart flavor). The wine salame we sampled was an entirely different experience and more akin to a US deli type of salame. The wine components in each of the three salumi were minor with very little of distinct wine characteristics coming through. I would aim to use the wine salami, cut very thin, as a sandwich ingredient, where as one should experience the Artisan cacciatore with nothing more than a piece of crunchy bread and a few olives.
(photo: one of my favorite cheeses, Reggianito, great with all types of salumi)