If you have food allergies you know how exciting it is to discover a new "safe" food, especially if it's a food that was previously considered off-limits. When you are diagnosed with a nightshade allergy there are some things that you just accept you will never taste again. You will never have a plain old pepperoni pizza or bowl of spaghetti. Chili Verde is only a memory. Sausage & salami are no-no's.
We have this fantastic little market down the road from my house called Specialty Meats & Gourmet. I stopped by the other day because I had a coupon for free bacon. If you know me at all you know that bacon is my favorite food and Specialty Meats & Gourmet not only has fantastic bacon, but they also stock Big Fork brand bacon sausage. If you love smoky bacon you've got to try it. It's like a bratwurst but made of bacon and, most importantly, no nightshades! The first time I tried it I honestly cried. That may have had something to do with the fact that I had been starving in New Orleans for 3 days and it was the first food I found that wouldn't kill me, but it was also delicious.
I made my way to the counter with my 2 lbs of all natural nitrate free bacon and 1 lb of duck bacon when a ray of light shone down from above on a basket of bliss right there on the counter in front of me. My eyes locked on to the magic words " No Spices Added!" on the package and I picked up the Bolzano Artisan Meats Pig Red All Natural Salami in disbelief. "Really?" I asked Steve, the owner. "Salami with no spices added? Do you have any idea how happy I am right now? There are ALWAYS spices I'm allergic to in salami."
"I think that's why they made it. Too many people with allergies to spices, garlic, onion and nitrates. And it's really good...reeeeeaaaaalllllyyy good."
After a long, detailed discussion about the product I added 2 to my purchases and skipped home like a 6 year old with a lollipop. Weeks passed as it sat wrapped on my counter top. There is something unnerving about eating something that you have always believed would send you quickly to the ER, even when you've been assured it is safe. It can almost feel like playing roulette but tonight I came home late from work. There are no leftovers in the fridge and it is really too late to cook anything. I have cheese, crackers and wine. It's time.
If I were a food writer I could wax eloquently about the flavors and texture of the salami, but I'm not a food writer. At the moment I'm just hungry and this salami is good. No, it is freaking good, oh my, thank you God for this rich, flavorful, wonderful, won't send me into anaphylaxis good salami. My world has just gotten a little bit bigger. Amen.