Salumi Products Gone Downhill?
Here in Portland it was great for a while. You could find Salumi's stuff at several local gourmet grocers, cheese shops, and the like, after a local distributor picked it up. And the products were wonderful, just as good as what I'd had at the Seattle store.
Salumi got picked up by Sur La Table and I've also heard, perhaps Zingerman's??? Now, not only is it difficult to find in Portland, but people who were selling it are telling me they won't buy it anymore because the quality went so far downhill. One guy described the salami as more like summer sausage. And he said they went through a batch where they had terrible casings. I've had people both privately and publicly confirm this now. See here for one of those: http://portlandfood.org/index.php?sho...
Partially, I want to warn locals that the Salumi brand isn't what it used to be, but I'm also wondering if those in Seattle are experiencing the same.
I have spoken directly to the source about certain "issues" with quality. They had to make some changes with production becasue of the USDA. The problem is that with cured meat, you won't know how changing the process will effect the product until months later when the product is finished. There was a batch of product that was not up to the usual standard that was the result of initial changes to the curing process to satisfy USDA. They have since ironed out the kinks and are back to a quality product that satisfies both the USDA and finicky customers alike. Speaking as one of the finickiest customers they have! Salumi is now better than ever!
I haven't experienced this at all, and I've been there recently for both sandwiches and take-away salumi. I can't speak for the quality of what's being distributed out-of-city, though.
Equating Salumi with summer sausage? Ah, that pains me...I'm trying not to be overcome with high regional dudgeon, but now I know how a Catholic would feel if someone called the Virgin Mary a whore. :)