Mark Pastore's San Fran-based Boccalone has grown to become a world-famous salumi shop, serving salted, cured, high-quality pig to chefs and discerning locals for years (note that salumi is the Italian term for cured meats, typically pork; salami is a type of salumi). That's because everything is hand-made, fermented, cured, and specially spiced to create a particular effect – some herbal, some spicy, others kissed with smoke. Only a portion of his menu is available online at a given time, so unless you swing by Boccalone's San Francisco store, the best way to get access to Pastore's latest, exclusive masterpiece is to join the Salumi Society.
"The Salumi Society is how we started our business," says Pastore. Starting back in 2007, Bay Area foodies would come together for monthly meet-ups to collect their stipend of lovingly crafted cured meats. That venture helped to finance the shop and get Boccalone off the ground. Now the rest of us can get in on the same action (without having to make monthly visits to the Bay area). Each shipment is a curated medley of what is bluntly described as "Salted Pig Parts," which is a sampler of some of Boccalone's more than two-dozen offerings. So a typical "sacchetto" (or "small") box might include a marbled pancetta, a chunky pate, fresh breakfast sausage, and, of course, a paper-wrapped chub of cured goodness. Whatever the mix, you can be sure it's the epitome of artisan meats. [$58 to $66 per month for 3- to 12-month subscriptions; boccalone.com]