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Posts Tagged ‘Salami’

Jungle Jims Dry Salami Review


Jungle Jims Dry Salami ReviewWhen I did my post last week about my first visit to the magical food kingdom of Jungle Jims, I didn’t talk about specific products, wanting to give them their own space and time.

Like their packaged (house brand) dry salami. Now if you love salami of all types as much as I do, Jungle Jims is the place for you with dozens and dozens of varieties from producers all over the world.

I picked up this one as an afterthought, an impulse item, stock stuffer, what have you.  I’ve written so much about processed meats over the past ten years that I’ve committed to memory (mostly) an awful lot of the USDA plant numbers you will see on processed meats in the US.  And I recognized this one – Jungle Jims is no slouch in who they dole out their in-house product manufacturing to, this salami is made by Busseto in California, one quality operation (Link leads to their Facebook page, their website is a little wonky today).

You can’t find many salumis (the word means Italian cold cuts in general) purer than this product, which contains pork and salt and traces of flavors and cures. Nothing alarming at all. And the true measure of any processed meats for me these days, and you know this if you’ve read any of my posts, is DOES IT TASTE LIKE THE ANIMAL?  So many processed foods have been over processed as to not really resemble the original muscle meat anymore.

Not so with Jungle Jims. Bite after bite, it tastes like pork off the farm, before one even gets the sense of the seasoning.  And that’s important to me.

Their dry salami is very mild, great ‘bite’ (texture), and is great for snacking, or appetizers, even a sandwich, depending on how thin you slice it. I’m having some tonight as an accompaniment to fondue, both perfect for a chilly winter night.  Wish I’d picked up multiples.  Next time.

A pic of one of Busseto’s ultra-modern processing plants is below.

Jungle Jims Dry Salami Review

Jungle Jims Dry Salami Chub

Jungle Jims Dry Salami Review

Busseto’s California Processing Plant


Trader Joes Truffle Salami Review


Trader Joes Truffle SalamiI gotta tell ya, products that I have NOT liked from Trader Joes are few and far between.  While the company does not make product themselves, they contract with top manufacturers in the US and overseas to bring fine quality foods with an international flair the to snooty grocery shoppers like me.

Trader Joe’s frozen pizza,from Italy and France, are some of the best available.  The mushroom flatbread  and the truffle flatbreads are a-ok, too.

For their Truffle Salami, they went to one of America’s biggest processors, Busseto, parked on the edge of America’s garden (the San Joaquin Valley) in Fresno, CA.   TJ’s description of the product is thus:  “Overseen by an esteemed salumiere from Como, Italy, the pork is seasoned simply with salt, pepper and garlic, and then infused with the black summer truffles. Stuffed into casing, the Truffle Salami is air dried in a delicate process that takes 3-4 weeks.”

It’s a lean product, with a very mild earthy flavor from the truffles, and a distinct salami flavor from the dried pork.   It’s a really excellent  product, but Busseto only makes quality,whether under their own label or companies they do contract production for.  To me, there is such a taste difference between really good salamis and the ones from the mass produced giants.  Wish I could accurately describe what I think that is.

Listed ingredients are pork and salt.  A few other ingredients at less than the 2% level, including the truffles, and celery juice, which is becoming the new “MSG.”

According to the packaging, the product comes out of USDA Establishment 9882, and if Google maps is correct, a pic one of their Fresno operations is below.

Busseto makes a wide array of processed pork products, available packaged and in deli counters most everywhere in the U.S.  Not for nothing, but Busseto also makes uncured salami for Applegate, which I have tried before.

Trader Joe’s aren’t everywhere yet, but probably will be someday.  For now, find your nearest store here.  In the meantime, if you’d like to try some of Busseto’s great salamis, they can be shipped right to your door.

Trader Joe's Truffle Salami

Trader Joes Truffle Salami

No Loitering!







Truffle Salami Review


Lunch Mate Hard Salami Review


Aldi Salami ReviewAnother bargain from Aldi’s (locator)  this week was their “Lunch Mate” brand hard salami at $2.99 for an 8 ounce resealable pack, making is $6 per pound.  Compare with your grocery deli counter, and you almost always save 30-50%.

The product is made by Patrick Cuhahy’s Wisconsin plant, USDA establishment 28.    Cudahy, founded in 1888, is a brand that is part of the John Morrell Food Group, which is in turn, owned by Smithfield, which is now owned by Chinese investors.  Many, many Smithfield/Morrell sub-brands come through this factory, here’s just a few:

Armour Food Company, Armour-Echrich Meats, LLC Butterball, Carando, Carolina Turkey, Cook’s Ham, Inc,. Country Lean, Curly’s Food Inc., Decker Food Company, Eastbay Packing Co,. Farmland Foods, Inc., Farmstead, Gwaltney Hunter, Krey Packing Co,. Hunter Packing Co., John Morrell & Co., Kneip, Krakus Foods International, Kretschmar Brands, Inc., Krey Packing Co. Lakeview Lundy’s Maple River Brand Mohawk Provision, Inc. Moseys, Northside Foods OhSe Partridge Meats, Inc. Patrick Cudahy Peyton Packing Co., Inc. Premium Farms, Premium Pet Health, Premium Standard Farms, Quick-To-Fix, Racorn, Inc., Rath Blackhawk, Inc., RMH Foods, Rodeo Meats, Inc., Roegelein Selective Petfood Services, Inc, Smithfield Foods, Inc., Smithfield Packing Co., Spring Hill Brand, Stefano Foods, Tobin’s First Prize Meat Co., Valleydale, Inc.

The salami is a thin sliced, slightly-smoked,  pork and beef product with seasonings and the usual curatives. It’s quite flavorful, and I said above, a really good value.  Cudahy makes a pepperoni (under their name) I like, too, which is often value-priced at the market.

Cudahy is currently planning to expand the plant, located just between the Milwaukee airport and the shore of Lake Michicgan.  Pictures of the plant below from Google street view (if accurate).

Hungry now?  Here are some salamis that ship.

Aldi Salami Review


Aldi Salami Review







Lunch Mate Hard Salami Review


Applegate Naturals Uncured Genoa Salami Review


I’m not sure how many consumers even know what the word “uncured” means when they see it on processed meat packages, like deli meats, hot dogs, ham and bacon.   I am also not sure where there is an “official” government definition, but I personally take it to mean free of the preservatives generally found in such products, like sodium nitrites and nitrates.

Often, in my reading, I have seen references to these types of meats being ‘cured’ by celery juice or celery juice powder, substances which contain nitrates naturally.  Uncured meats must be kept refrigerated or they will spoil.

Applegate Farms makes a living selling uncured, natural, and organic meat products from a variety of protein sources. They say they source their meat from sources that raise animals humanely and do not use antibiotics.

In addition to the products mentioned in the first sentence, Applegate Farms also markets poultry products, including chicken sausages and turkey “burgers.”  They are based in New Jersey and have been around 25 years or so.  On the packaging, their UPC code is also used as a “barn code” and tells you where the meat was sourced.  In the case of my purchase, Uncured Genoa Salami,” apparently the pork came from farms in South Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Ontario and Quebec.

The label says the pork was raised on “sustainable family farms in a stress-free environment that promotes natural behavior and socialization.”   Another thing I have no idea what it means, other than perhaps the piggies are allowed to socialize on Facebook prior being driven off to the kill zone.

After the piggies socialized, they went on a  (albeit brief) vacation to California, where (according to the USDA establishment number) they were manufactured into salami by Busseto Foods in Fresno, CA, decidedly a giant among pork producers.   In fact, their Genoa salami looks very similar to Applegate’s.

I’m one of those consumers that doesn’t really care if animals we’re going to kill are ‘raised humanely,” as it seems like a contradiction anyway.  At my age, I also don’t care about whether or not I ingest preservatives, maybe more of them will actually keep me on the planet a little longer.

What I care about, particularly with salami, is appearance, taste, texture and value.  Applegate meets the first three of those categories excellent, but at near $20 a pound, value isn’t at the top of their game.  But then, all meat is expensive now.  Seems to me like it dramatically shoots up weekly.

Bottom line, would I buy Applegate salami again? Yep.  It’s tasty, no matter how the piggies were raised or what they ‘et’ prior to my chowing down on them.

Postscript:   By coincidence, the following day I spotted Busseto’s product in another store, at the equivalent of $10 a pound.  Not organic, not uncured, but are those designators worth twice the price?  Not to me.

Applegate Farms Uncured Genoa Salami


Applegate Farms Uncured Genoa Salami


Applegate Farms Salami

Bussseto Brand










Applegate Naturals Uncured Genoa Salami

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