Italian Salami in the USA – where is the real stuff???

Italian Salami in the USA
Salam d’la duja – Photo © parks.it

Italian Salami in the USA: The importation of pork products, specifically Italian Salami, in the USA was not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Starting from 2014 the United States opened the frontiers of semi-manufactured Salami made in Italy, such as Salami, bacon, cups, and culatello.

I don’t sell Salami or prosciutto; I am an Italian-born salami-lover, who lived in the USA for 40 years. For years I suffered from the lack of availability of these products in the USA. Now they started appearing in online and brick-and-mortar stores, but they have to compete with the Italian-sounding imitations made in the USA.

The names and the packaging of these would-be-Italian products can fool you, don’t fall for it, here you will find the information on where you can find the real stuff.

I tell you also about my personal experiences with the products I bought to help you decide what to do.

Where to buy Italian salami in the USA

You can find real Italian Salami and Italian sounding Italia too, on sale at major supermarket chains.
You can find them also at specialty Italian or International food stores around the country.

There are a number of online stores that sell the real stuff and the Italian sounding one too.

Almagourmet.com sells real Italian imported salami and prosciutto.

They sell Salami Felino Veroni DOP. Outstanding!

dolceterra.com sells only original imported Italian products. I bought from them Salame of Norcia and Traditional Soppressata. They both arrived delivered by FedEx directly from Italy. It took a few more days than I originally expected, but it was well worth the wait: they are some of the best salami I ever have eaten!

The Salame of Norcia was from L’Antica Norcieria Fratelli Ansuini. They sell directly online, at least outside of the USA. They also sell the original bresaola from Valtellina, I was tempted to buy it, but they only sell the whole piece, not sliced.

igourmet.com, from Pennsylvania. Check out their “Detailed info” button on each product to verify where the product is made. I did not check yet the products they sell.

italianfoodonlinestore.com, from Florida, sells both original made in Italy as well as Italian sounding salami and prosciuttos. Check out each product to see its country of origin. I did not check yet the products they sell.

Salumeriaitaliana.com, from Boston, sells both original made in Italy as well as Italian sounding salami and prosciuttos. Check out each product to see its country of origin. I did not check yet the products they sell.

Olioandolive.com sells, from Dallas, imported products as well as some made in the USA. Many of these products are presented as Italian salami. I had a totally negative experience, see the details here.

Companies importing real “made in Italy” salami

Veroni USA imports in the USA real “made in Italy” salami.

I bought Salami Felino Veroni DOP from Almagourmet.com. I have been very happy, finally, it was the real stuff I had been searching for for a long time! Outstanding!

Principe Foods Inc. imports in the USA real “made in Italy” prosciutto and mortadella. Among others, Wholefoods carry some of its products in easy-to-use packages.

I regularly buy at Wholefoods their Prosciutto di San Daniele, excellent quality!
I also buy their Mortadella di Bologna, very good indeed!

Ferrarini imports in the USA real “made in Italy” prosciutto and salami. I did not check yet the products they sell.

A recent entry on the American market

ParmacottoUSA. imports in the USA real “made in Italy” prosciutto and salami. I did not check yet the products they sell.

They claim: Parmacotto is an Italian producer of fine meats based in the Parma area of Italy. Founded in 1978, they are famous for all types of salumi: from the many types of Prosciutto and Salami to the sensible options on The Zero Line. Starting in 2019, they are Now in America, and pleased to bring the same high quality enjoyed in Italy to the United States!

The attention to detail separates them from other companies. Each product is curated with the fine eye of tradition and a sensitivity to the art of making fine charcuterie. In Parma, this is not just a type of meat. This is the history and part of who they are. They demand the best and think you should too. This is indeed why they have come to America.

Rodman’s, in Wisconsins Avenue, Washington DC.

Maestri d’Italia, from New Jersey, imports, slices, and packages salami and prosciuttos that are on sale in many stores around the country. They also sell whole prosciuttos and salami to stores around the country.

I buy their Salame Rustico at Rodman’s, a local store here in Washington DC. It cames sliced and confectioned in 30 oz packages. I definitely recommend it to you, very good quality!

Fratelli Beretta USA imports real “Prosciutto di Carpegna” made in Italy, together with several other Italian made products. They also have several factories in the USA where they make Italian sounding products, including Salumi, Coppe, Pancetta. On their site, you have also a list of supermarkets that carry their products. I did not check yet the products they sell.

Italian salami in the USA
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The Mission might be San Francisco’s oldest neighbourhood, but this district has turned into one of the trendiest parts of the city. Walk among the hippest locals in town on this San Francisco food tour that combines artisanal eats with some of the most beautiful murals and legendary street art in the city.

Italian Salami in the USA: a bit of history

The import of pork products into the USA has been forbidden for many years by the Food and Drug Administration. Some Italian expatriates found a way to satisfy the market anyway for Salami in that country, here is the story of what they did:

Salami does just as well in elegant settings, say on a charcuterie plate spread with ham and pate. You reach for the Salami first. After the first pleasing tug against your teeth, a cascade of pungent, salty flavors floods from the meat. There is a pause, as the fermented tang lingers, then you have no choice: You must have another slice.

Salami like that tastes as it came from the old country, where it was made the old way. And in a way, it did, via San Francisco. That’s where they make some of the best Italian Salami sold in America.

A curious war made San Francisco the salami capital of America. From 1967 until 1970, a band of six determined Bay Area sausage makers argued to the U.S. Department of Agriculture that they deserved the right to not only use Italian methods but to call their product “Italian salami.” They were direct descendants of salami makers of Milan, Lucca, Parma, and Modena. Around the turn of the last century, they had settled in a city whose temperate climate might be the only one in the United States perfectly suited for dry-curing Salami. They even had the right strain of penicillin mold to give the links a classic white bloom.

Italian Salami in the USA: Nostalgy of the past in Italy

Sure, the Italian Americans wanted to keep a corner of meat processing to themselves, to prevent producers of cooked meat and fast-cured imitations from using the term. But at the heart of the argument was a pleasure.

The San Franciscans were intent on saving a revered delicacy from a fate worse than baloney. Italian Salami, they contended, is a food every bit as noble as cheese or wine. Looking back, it seems evident that the Bay Area salami makers were Slow Foodists of their day. At the heart of their argument, they insisted that authentic Salami could not be achieved quickly, or by cooking the sausages like hot dogs, or in a short hanging period, or by spiking the meat with unique flavorings.

In letter after letter to bleary USDA officials, they outlined the echt way to make it, the style, more or less, Italians had made it since the 5th century B.C. Salami must consist mainly of pork and fat, they said. This pork should come from the shoulder (haunches go-to ham), with large chunks of fat that won’t melt. This meat must be chopped, never pureed like a hot dog emulsion. It could be combined with wine, garlic, pepper, curing salts, maybe a touch of mace.

A lactic acid starter was called for to start a slow fermentation that would dry-cook the product. Dried milk was permissible as a binding agent between the meat and fat. They could then pack the meat into either cellulose or pork-gut casing. These sausages were then hung, first in drip rooms, then in aging rooms, for weeks, or months, depending on the size of the chub.

Italian salami in the USA
San Francisco: US capital of salami

The optimum range of curing temperatures, they stressed, was the same as San Francisco’s temperate climate. As the Salami dried, the links fermented, and a change in acidity expertly cooked the meat and produced the complex spectrum of flavors. As this happened, the sausages would also dry. The meat would lose roughly 30% of its water weight. A penicillin mold would form on the coat, checking the exposure of the meat to air, and thus stopping oxidation and preventing rancid flavors.

To press their case, the San Franciscans hired a lawyer. They formed something called the Dry Salami Institute. They prepared elaborate family histories, paraded fair ribbons from salami competitions in Rome, and bombarded bureaucrats with long letters with even longer appendixes as to the utter authenticity of their every salami-stuffing step. And, reader, they prevailed. Find the words “Italian salami” or “Italian Dry Salami” on a California chub, and you are guaranteed food that at least tries to hold its own in Italy.

The same Californian producers lobbied to maintain the prehistoric, archaic FDA regulations against import of original “made in Italy” salami. Big Italian salami producers that have opened up factories in the USA to circumvent the FDA controls have joined them in this effort to deliver a “mass-market” product to the American supermarkets.

Italian salami in the USA
New American ventures on pork products

An exciting development in the past few years is the startup of small butchers, like Farmstead Meatsmith, who provides a personal abattoir, butchery, charcuterie, and instruction service out of California, or the North Mountain Pastures farm in Pennsylvania.
Also notable are the salamis produced by Salame Beddu in Saint Luis.

Real Italian Salami products available for purchasee online.

Bresaola della Valtellina

Ask any Italian you know what they would eat if they went on a diet after the heavy Christmas holiday meals with panettoni, torroni, pandori, chocolate etc. and I could bet anything you want that bresaola would be listed in their perfect Italian diet menu.

The "real" and best bresaola is produced in Valtellina, an area of about 200 km in the centre of the Alps, in northern Lombardy, between Italy and Switzerland, and it's available here!

Product of Valtellina, Italy

Veroni Salami Milano - 1 Lb Slice

Pork and beef

The fat and lean parts are first refrigerated to harden them and are then passed under the cutter before they are minced and then mixed. This finely minced mixture is then stuffed into a stitched natural pig's intestine casing. The salami is then strung tightly together.

Product of Italy

Veroni Di Parma Salami 1 Lb.

Carefully selecting raw materials and stringently monitoring production and curing techniques to generate the highest product quality.

Product of Italy

Rovagnati Mortadella with Pistachio 1 Pound Sliced

The name “mortadella” is traced back to Roman times. According to some sources, it derives from “Mortarium” (mortar), a tool used to crush the pork. The production of mortadella, however, can be located in an area of Roman influence, which extends from Emilia Romagna to Lazio. Mortadella is in fact the most famous cooked Bolognese tradition sausage, with historical origins dating back to the sixteenth century. In more recent times the area of the original production has spread to neighboring areas.

Product of Italy

Prosciutto di Carpegna Deboned Aged 20 Months D.O.P. from Italy - 14.8 Pounds Approx.

14.8 pound (6.7 kilogram) - WEIGHT APPROXIMATES
Packaging: Vacuum-sealed Plastic with Cute Yellow Cloth Bag
Aging: 20 months

The habit of salting meat in the County of Carpegna is ancient, testified in the act of 1407. The Count of Urbino Guidantonio ordered that the market should take place in Monte Cerignone and prohibited from selling elsewhere oxen, sheep, castrated sheep, hogs and salted meat. A witness is in an elaborate part of St. Anthony Abbot, preserved in the parish of St. Leo Carpegna, where the saint is represented with a sweet ham to protect the production processes.

Product of Carpegna, Italy

Speck

Speck is made from a pig's rear thigh, which is deboned, and smothered in a dry-cure of salt and various spices, which include pepper, garlic, juniper, pimento, and sugar

Product of Italy

Cotechino from Modena IGP

This is the real Cotechino from Modena IGP (Indication Geografic Protected) a sweet, yet spicy, cooked pork sausage

Traditionally served on New Year’s Eve, crowning a bed of lentils

Originally from Modena, contechino holds a special place in the hearts, and stomachs, of most Italians due to the persisting belief that if eaten together with lentils as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, you will be the recipient of good luck for the year to come

Our skillfully made Cotechino di Modena IGP is precooked so that the meat is guaranteed to be tender and sweet

The sausage should be heated before serving, and cut into thick slices

Product of Italy

Prosciutto (4 Lb cut) DOP Parma Negroni aged 14 months boneless from Italy

Aged for 14 months
DOP Parma Italy
4lb cut piece

Product of Italy

Italian Prosciutto di Parma Black Label D.O.P. Boneless Whole Leg - Aged 18 Months - 16 Pounds Approx.

**AGED for 18 MONTHS**
16 pound (7.3 kilogram) - WEIGHT APPROXIMATES

Ingredients: Pork, salt - Boneless

The D.O.P. label guarantees both the origin and precise production process of the ham

Product of Italy