Salumi | Salumi Artisan Cured Meats by Armando Batali

On another photography assignment for the New York Times I was sent to photograph Armando Batali at Salumi his restaurant and meat processing plant place near Pioneer Square. He is holding some of his signature salumi in this first photo it is a leg of lamb that he cured for Lamb “Prosciutto” in the aging cooler behind the restaurant. Other kinds of salumi are hanging behind him

The outside front entrance to the restaurant has a signboard advertising specials on days they are open for lunch. (It should probably be mentioned that famed New York City Chef Mario Batali is the son of Armando and maybe that was why the New York Times became interested in Salumi. Just a guess.)

A couple of plates of salumi some prosciutto and salami on the right.

Another portrait of Armando in his curing room. Here is the beginning of Armando’s description of his Lamb Prosciutto ”
In keeping with the Salumi Artisan Cured Meats family plan, (that of advancing the art of meat curing to some new directions whilst maintaining the traditions of the past), we some time ago decided to develop a cured lamb product — albeit we loved the flavor of lamb – barbequed, grilled, roasted, burgers, shanks, leg, shoulder, tongue, sweetbreads. Perhaps our love goes back to our childhood – when we were only able to get lamb infrequently and thus it was saved for very special occasions or perhaps our love was nourished while living in Europe where lamb is so much more a highly respected food, or perhaps even while picnicking in Spain with the locals in some field on a grand and glorious day grilling lamb chuletas over an open fire of olive branches. Whatever it is/was we loved lamb and the whole family shared that love.

Anyway when we started dry curing products, I often asked why there were so few dry cured lamb products. Even in history there are few and those there are so limited. When one reads SALT (a great book studying the history and culture of Salt), the Scandinavians continue today with maybe two or three, or in Greek History you may read about one or two, same with the Icelanders. Even in the Middle East where salt was so prevalent for so many years for preserving foods and even bodies, very few lamb products were created that came down the time of history to become traditional or available as dry cured products. Even more so here in the United States. Certainly we are aware of the history of lamb and its back burner status in American Ranching, from western movies if not anywhere else.

I was fortunate after retirement to work with a couple of butchers in Tuscany along with Faith Willinger to slaughter, butcher, and make various forms of Salumi, both Salami type ground and stuffed products as well as muscle products like Coppa, Lonza, Lardo. Marilyn and I were as well fortunate while living in Spain to attend the Matanza, the butchering and preparing of the family pigs in Southern Spain. What an experience! This was a great opportunity for me to see again and participate first hand in the whole process. When we were children in the Yakima Valley, our whole family gathered together for many years to slaughter the pigs we had grown and to all participate in the pigs destiny of feeding us during the winter months. We made or cured all wonderful pieces, from snout to tail and including everything in between and in. This effort and joy from this annual affair and which we so fondly remember as children, truly enhanced our feelings and memories of the values of the family together, around the fire, cleaning scraping, grinding and salting. We learned in real time the appreciation of togetherness focused, both on our stomachs and for each other. And we loved it. ” Continue reading Salumi Artisan Cured Meats
on the Salumi website.

Photograph by Seattle Photographer Daniel Sheehan specializing in photojournalism, portraits and photography for publications and corporations, and Seattle wedding photographers, with a candid photojournalist style.

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