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Boston salumi - Where to find?

I have found a nice choice of Italian-style cured/preserved meats in the North End at Salumeria but am always on the look out for more. All recommendations would be welcome.

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  1. The deli at Russo's on Pleasant Street in Watertown has a nice selection of cured meats. They're also the only place I know of in town that carries lardo. (I was quite surprised to learn recently that Salumeria Italia does not.)

    1. Capone Foods in Union Square, Somerville has a decent selection of salumi and other Italian imports. They're worth a trip for the fresh pasta alone - dozens of flavors and shapes, made to order!

      1. Thanks for the information. I will make a trip to Russos. Lardo is a real delicacy. There's nothing quite like the smell of it fried to a crisp.

        1. Salumaria and Russo's are high on my list for many shopping trips. I would also recommend Formaggio at both locations. Cambridge has a larger selection but South End is also nice. You tend to think of them immediately for cheese but they also have a good meat selection.

          A few months ago our wine group was tasting Italian wines and we did an antipasto tray from South End Formaggio that was just wonderful.

          1. Purity Cheese @ 55 Endicott in the North End is a favorite, the mini salamis (about 2 1/2-3 inches long) are great.

            1. I do a lot of my weekly shopping at Russo's but would caution you to check the "best before" dates on the relevant products before buying. When I was there on Sunday wanting to pick up a package of John Dewar applewood smoked bacon, I happened to glance at the "best before date" and noticed that it (and all the other packages) were "best before JUNE 21". Similarly, I love their local fresh ricottas but among the large size (2lb?) Purity packages only one had a "best before" date and it was expired. They need to be more vigilant on weeding these guys out, but otherwise they're a fabulous resource to explore.

              4 Replies
              1. re: peelmeagrape

                Being a huge Russo's fan and regular, we have noticed slippage in their meat stocking, storage, and selection recently --wonder if they changed the person managing it or their suppliers? We almost walked out with some pretty rank pork chops recently, and there were no others in any better shape to replace them with when we tried. That said, the North Country/Dewar Applewood bacon they sell is hands-down the best we know of -- anywhere.

                1. re: rlh

                  Agreed on all points and emphatically about the bacon. For home consumption I'd rather have nothing than something else...which is what I ended up this week. Just thinking about how great that bacon is, I think I might need to start making an extra stop at John Dewar's itself.

                  1. re: rlh

                    just an FYI john dewar has sold the dewar company to kinnealy meats (large wholesaler) they are taking over the stores and wholesale. i wonder if this is the downturn in the product and not russos

                    1. re: bernie71

                      That is disapointing news.

                      However, if there is expired food on the shelves, it is Russo's responsibility to police that, period.

                      Another spot to try is Tutto Italiano in Hyde Park.

                2. Also, Berezhka on Comm Ave near the corner of Harvard Ave has a huge selection of eastern European salamis and cured meats. The Hungarians run a close second to the Italians in knowing how to turn a pig into a little piece of heaven.

                  1. Second the Formaggio rec -- they carry salumi from Mario Batali's dad. The fennel sausage is amazing.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: yumyum

                      I've tried a couple of those Batali's dad sausages and they're quite good. I also really like that super spicy sausage that Formaggio carries that is made in the Bronx. It's dreamy.

                      1. re: MB fka MB

                        Is that the hot soppressata they hang behind the counter? Those are GREAT. FK also carries an amazing bresaola (cured beef tenderloin) -- from Brooklyn, I think. Expensive but really fantastic flavor. I think they have the widest variety of artisanal cured meats around here (including lardo, which was mentioned above).

                    2. Thank you for all the excellent information. This weekend's shopping is shaping up nicely.

                      1. Purity is excellent, as is Formaggio but their prices reflect it. Sessa's in Davis Sq is also worth a visit. I find they have a better selection of most things than Capone's and I think they have more cured meats. They do have an issue with sell-by dates on things like truffle oil, espresso beans, and I wonder why they bring bread up from NYC only once a week, but anything in the dairy case is fresh and dry cured meats are intended to last.

                        There are some others which are worth the visit, but I wouldn't consider special for salumi: J Pace in Saugus and maybe the re-opened North End location. I regularly go to the market next to Abbondanza on Main St in Everett even though its out of my way. There also is a "Salumeria" that I want to like on Medford St in Medford (heading in towards Medford from Rt 28), but frankly Bob's on Main St in Medford has much better selection.