This is always a great time of year to be in Central Virginia. We’re not certain about your part of the world, but here we have Dogwoods in bloom, trees are turning green, and we’ve begun to sleep with the windows open. It’s also a confusing time of year, because we went from wonderful refreshing Spring weather to a frost advisory to a 90-degree day in about 36 hours, but it’s still nice. Any way that you choose to look at it, we’re getting ready for summer.
Summer, for many folks, means a change in their diets. They eat more salads, cut back on fatty foods, and dream of smaller bathing suits. This rush to a cleaner diet, however, does not mean that you have to park the Olli Salame for the season. Our cured meats are made with heritage breeds of pork, use no additives other than natural spices, and are free of glutens, soys, and other things that clog up other meats. The flecks of fat that you see in an Olli Salumeria Chorizo or Toscano are good fats, and not the processed kind that makes you thick around the middle.
These things also make Olli Salame a great choice for a summer meal. Whether you’re planning a day at the beach or enjoying a summer concert, you can pair our products with a nice adult beverage and some simple foods to have a refreshing and tasty snack.
Let’s take our Chorizo, for example. It’s made with pimenton de la vera, which gives it a classic Spanish taste, with a bit of smokiness and spice. The pimenton is made from dried chilies, so you may find yourself with a bit of a sweat. That will actually make you cooler! Perfect to wash it down is a refreshing IPA, like Dogfish Head Sixty-One. They took their classic 60 Minute IPA and added syrah grapes to give it a bit of fruitiness. What’s not to like about that? Keeping with the Spanish theme of the salame, balance it all with a Spanish-influenced Manchego cheese. It’s sweet and mellow, and you can find it at most of the retailers that carry our meats. Whole Foods has a true Manchego, and many of them carry our stuff as well. One-Stop-Shopping.
When the weather is right, we often crack a bottle of Soave, like Ca Rugate San Michele Classico. It reminds Olli of Italy, is light and crisp, and has a sweet almond finish. We’ll hack into some Parmigiano Reggiano for its butter flavor, and slice up some of our Norcino. Our Norcino is sublimely simple, with just some salt and white pepper, so you really taste the flavor of the pork. Each sip and taste will balance and compliment the next, and makes firefly watching a real treat.
When we’re feeling festive, like at a festival, we bring along some Napoli. This is a dynamic salame that’s been smoked with applewood, giving it a complex flavor. One of our local breweries, Legend in Downtown Richmond, has long made a delicious Porter that brings out the smokiness. It has a full body with chocolate and coffee flavors. Smoke and roasts paired together. Our favorite food pairing with this combo is a zesty taleggio cheese. It has a strong aroma for your nose, but is surprisingly fruity. Some cheese makers even add things like raisins or lemons to enhance that fruitiness, but we prefer the straight cheese.
Take a moment this season to admire a sunset. Smell a pretty flower. Watch some grass grow. But don’t forget to feed your Olli fix. It’s always Olli season as far as we’re concerned.