Tuesday, August 14, 2012

You have to admire a culture that fries cheese . . . and salami

I forgot to take a photo of fried salami with onions when we made
it last week (well, we had eaten it by the time I remembered!)
so instead, I give you a photo of me and the Friulano himself,
my Dad Italo Sguazzin (he is always laughing).
On warm summer nights my husband I like to take the kids down the rocky, beautiful beach at the bottom of the hill from our house. He’ll throw his line in while the kids play on the beach, looking for an interesting piece of driftwood or a perfect rock. I like to sit on a washed-up log and look out at the Straight of Georgia, and out at my family, and just feel happy and grateful.

We take sandwiches and have our supper there. For Kelly and I, it’s usually a salami sandwich on a chunk of crusty baguette along with, truth be told, a glass of red wine in a paper cup.

I think salami is one of those things that may have been ruined for many people by a bad grocery store variety. But really, a good salami, a hunk of bread, a glass of wine . . . perfection.

But leave it to the Friulani to take perfection and improve upon it. In Friuli, they fry salami. There, I said it. They take thick slices of fresh, not-yet-fully-cured, made-with-care salami and fry it, first slowly melting those little white dots of yum, then turning up the heat, creating a crusty outside that is to die for. Red wine vinegar reduces in the pan and thinly sliced onions carmelize. And the whole mess is a plate of happy. Serve it with slices of roasted polenta and/or a montasio and potato frico and you have Friuli on a plate. 

Fried salami . . . as my little girl Emiliana (or Emiliaina Friulana as I like to call her) would say, “Did that just blew your mind?”