When you give a fourth-generation Italian salumiere the best pigs in the world, good things happen.
At Virginia's Olli Salumeria Americana, that means pancetta, coppa and other traditional Italian-style cured meats that trump even the best options from the Old Country.
At his new Richmond-based company, Oliviero Colmignoli, a descendant of the family that started Italy's Fiorucci salumi company, uses his family's 150-year-old recipes to cure his meats.
Rather than settle for standard pork, Olli works with the most renowned farms--including EcoFriendly and South Carolina's Caw Caw Creek--to secure heritage Berkshire and Mangalitsa pigs.
Right off the slicer, Colmignoli's meats are richly marbled, with superb flavor that needs no crackers, mustards or pickles.
Dark, peppery speck ($20 per pound) has the smokiness of bacon in transparently thin slices. Guanciale ($14 per pound) is subtly nutty and transforms simple carbonara into a restaurant-worthy composition. Hot lomo ($22 per pound) is made in the Spanish style and hand-rubbed with slightly sweet spices, then aged for three months.
In January, the company will release a prosciutto that's been aged at least 14 months, rather than the standard year. There will also be four different spiced salamis, including a Neapolitan style and one seasoned with just salt and pepper.