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Apr 30, 2013 08:12 AM

NYT Article - A Ban on Many Italian Pork Products Will Be Relaxed

FINALLY! Please chime in with your thoughts!

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  1. This may be important to Italians, but not to me, because Molinari & Sons salame is readily available where I live.

    9 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      "This may be important to Italians, but not to me..."

      In that case the entire program should be halted immediately.

      1. re: carolinadawg

        I don't see why that would follow. Do you care to explain?

        1. re: GH1618

          Sarcasm? Molinari products are good for what they are, but they doesn't cover all the bases: real prosciutto, speciality salumi from small producers, etc.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Yes, I know it was sarcasm. But my view is That we are fortunate to have domestic producers of such things, and should support them when we can.

            Molinari Deli carries imported and domestic prosciutto, and I know the imported is better. If there were a temporary shortage of prosciutto because of health concerns, though, I wouldn't worry about it. For the record, I'm glad that real Italian prosciutto is available in the US, even though I rarely eat it.

            1. re: GH1618

              I'm all for buying local and yes there are many domestic producers of Italian-type salumis here in the US, but when it comes to pancetta, I much rather have the real Italian pancetta than a "coldcut", plastic covered domestic log of it. Call me a snob, but the Italian version is far superior.

              1. re: ttoommyy

                You've apparently never tried the housemade pancetta at Biancardi or at Calabria Pork Store in the Bronx. We'll likely see industrial products, some better than the average domestic, some not so much. Don't expect that magical small-scale artisanal product anytime soon.

                1. re: bob96

                  bob96, you have probably nailed it. It is no accident that the chosen regions are those with the best-organized and largest producers. For smaller, artisanal producers -- whose salumi are perfectly safe -- the problems of meeting the standards (often written, even within Italy, to favor big producers) are insurmountable, as the article says. And the farther south you go, the more difficult it becomes to organize small producers into consortia that importers in the US can deal with.

                  1. re: bob96

                    Never assume anything. I've had my fair share of delicious, artisanal U.S.-made pancetta. I was comparing the particular Molinari brand being discussed to what pancetta in Italy mostly looks like. Simple.

                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      @ttoommyy I didn't assume anything, just misread your post. Apologies. You're absolutely correct, of course, when comparing apples to apples. And I always get just a little defensive about the best of our Italian American culinary heritage whenever Joe Bastianich opens his arrogant mouth (as he did in the linked NYT piece) about how he saved us from horrible red sauce and mysterious deli capicola. Maureen, even the NY State Ag laws covering salumi manufacturing are so burdensome and expensive to meet that there remains barely a handful of individual salumerie able to make their own products (Calabria among them)--the rest, inc. DiPalo, buy them from mid-size local speciality producers who often make high-quality products.

      2. Personally, I'm thrilled. Here on the Jersey Shore, thirty miles or so from Manhattan, any area dense with Italian delis, I've got a feelin' we'll be exposed to plenty of new tastes. Thanks for posting the link. I somehow missed the article and plan on sharing it with one of the deli owners I know well.

        1. Maybe I can finally get my fix of finocchiona. I have never found a comparable product here in the states. I have smuggled a few home in my day. (shhhhh)

          8 Replies
          1. re: foodieX2

            Too bad you weren't in San Francisco a few years back: the North Beach macellelia/salumeria Iacopi Bros. had a spectacular finocchiona. Which shows that it can be done here.

            1. re: bob96

              Ok...time to weigh in. From reading the other posts, I would say this is similar to the "NY's the water" argument. It could be the same ingredients, same process, etc., but people seem to feel WHERE it's made makes all the difference. Either way, I look forward to having more product to choose from and making my own judgements. Happy eating to all!

              1. re: njmarshall55

                "but people seem to feel WHERE it's made makes all the difference."

                And that is absolutely true in the case of these cured pork products. Here in the US we fill them with preservatives and other things while in Italy most are what you see is what you get.

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  Some domestic prosciutto is preservative-free.

                  1. re: GH1618

                    Yes, some, but not all. I would venture to guess that all prosciutto in Italy is nothing but pork and salt, air cured.

                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      there's a LOT of terrific salumi made in italy, of course. there's SOME made here. but if you think that all of the prosciutto and sausages made in italy are made in little farmhouse workshops, you're nuts. in many cases, this is commercial production on an industrial scale, with everything that means.

                      1. re: FED

                        I never said they were all made in "a little farmhouse." Where did I say that? I would venture to guess that unless the prosciutto is for home use only, any commercially sold prosciutto is made on an industrial scale. I said "all prosciutto in Italy is nothing but pork and salt, air cured." It is a regulated industry and producers must adhere to these processes.

                        And thanks for calling me "nuts." Nice.

                        1. re: ttoommyy

                          Actually there are plenty of nitrates and nitrites used in Italy. To avoid them, it's best to stick to the elite prosciutti and eschew store-bought salami and the more rustic prosciutti. There are also lots of salumi made in little farmhouses, not sold commercially and made presumably without additives. We once saw a village fair-type-thing outside Ferrara where one of the activities on view was the making of pork sausage. I think it was cooked and consumed on the spot.

          2. Oh no. If this was the case 40 years ago, then you wouldn't have had Sophia Loren in Lady Liberty. Whole premise of the movie is now gone.