I'll take a salami shop over a candy shop any day of the week. And on March 21, I did just that. For once in my weekday life, I was in Atascadero before Emporio Alle-Pia closed. So I stopped on by, because what else is there to do in the middle of a workday? The local handcrafted Italian salumi did not disappoint. This little slice of Italian-inspired meat heaven is brought to you by the family that owns Buona Tavola Italian restaurant, and they do their salami right (no nitrates or nitrites). Tasting through Alle-Pia's seven varieties, my favorite was the Calabrese. It's a drier, spicier salami that's reminiscent of pepperoni—only it's way better. Made with red wine, fennel, cayenne, and paprika, it's ready for some cheese plate snacking. Incidentally, Alle-Pia Fine Cured Meats, also sells a fabulous Italian Gorgonzola cheese that will blow your mind. It's sweet and nutty, with just the right amount of blue to take you to your happiest place.
Visit the Emporio at 8390 El Camino Real in Atascadero from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, where a vacuum-sealed pack of Calabrese salami is $16. You can also order online at allepiasalumi.com. Δ
Editor Camillia Lanham is down with salami. Tell her about your foodie happy place at firstname.lastname@example.org.