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Olli Salumeria Americana beats Italy at its own meat
Italian Store

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.

Available at Brabo, 1600 King St., Alexandria, 703-894-3440 or braborestaurant.com; The Italian Store, 3123 Lee Hwy., Arlington, 703-528-6266 or italianstore.com

The Italian Store 3123 Lee Hwy. Arlington VA 22201 703-528-6266 Brabo 1600 King St. Alexandria VA 22314 703-894-3440

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