Salsiccia Romagnola: The Elegance of Flavor

Ingest the foggy air, sea salt, and terroir of Ravenna, Italy, and absorb the poetic science of how these elements combine to make dry Italian salami what it is.

| Fall 2019

slicing-salami
Shutterstock/Barbajones

Born in Paris, Kevin Caradeuc spent his childhood living between France and the small province of Ravenna in northern Italy, just a few miles from the Adriatic Sea. He’ll soon open his own restaurant, Brasseries a la Mode, in Paris, where he intends to capture the feelings and flavors of his past. Somewhere between the City of Light and Ravenna lives flavor and a language all its own — the salsiccia of his childhood. Dry fermented Italian salami, salsiccia romagnola, brings with it an elegant science imprinted within the hearts of the people rooted in a remote land by the sea. True salsiccia romagnola is never cooked, so a symphony of tenuous elements must bring it into being. It’s comprised of quality meat, salt, bacteria, and, of course, time. The rest comes in with the sea mist that threatens Ravenna’s famous Byzantine mosaics.

Something in the Air

“When the first fog came in the fall, that’s when we made the sausage. As a child I wondered why we had to wait for the fog, but now I understand,” he said. The fog brings with it a humidity level that’s perfect for air-curing meat. Proper humidity allows the meat to dry evenly, without overdrying on the outside before the inside can cure properly. Too much humidity welcomes mold on the surface, which infiltrates the product and causes poor flavor. Thus, salami and other preserved meats, completely cured with salt and air, have their origin in places like Ravenna, where the climate creates this essential balance. Speaking with Kevin, I immediately wanted to gulp the foggy air there, certain that I would find a host of inexplicable feelings and flavors that exist nowhere else in the world in it.

fog-ravenna
Getty Images/GoneWithTheWindStock



As Kevin prepares to open his restaurant in Paris, he candidly admits that Parisians might find it strange for him to combine French traditions with northern Italian flavors, but he feels that his personal culinary identity leaves him little choice. “We can never recreate exactly, but do the best we can to remember.” Kevin’s working to cultivate not just flavor, but feeling in his culinary pursuits, which is what good food continues to inspire. As charcuterie meets with modern, mainstream palates, the rich stories it tells about people and places are as central to its curation as its meat and salt.






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