Do you love salami? Ever thought of it as a work of art?
A new museum in central Italy's food valley thinks it is and is out to tell the world. It has a high-sounding name: MUSA, as in muse of taste, which is short for Museo della Salumeria in Italian and is meant to conjure up memories of top-flight art museums like New York's Metropolitan Museum, the Louvre in Paris and the British Museum in London. Everyone knows that when it comes to cold cuts, Italians do it better. Pistachio mortadella, Barolo wine salami, black truffle sausages, Parma and San Daniele ham tickle the palates of every true gourmand. And Italy’s world-renowned cured meat delicacies can be just as expensive as caviar and champagne.
Today they're not as greasy and fattening as they were 50 years ago, when the typical lunch of an Italian workman was panino mortadella -- a roughly made sandwich of finely-ground pork sausage speckled with tiny cubes of lard.
Thanks to nutritional science and a creative rethink of old recipes, hams, salamis and sausages now rank as tantalising upscale appetizers and refined finger foods.
Add to that Italy’s rich cultural heritage and it's not surprising they're being presented as works of art in their own right.
At MUSA, crystal salamis are showcased behind glass cages while surrealist, flowery dishes of sliced ham, finocchiona (peppercorn salami), sirloin and air-cured beef hang on the walls like hunting trophies. [...]
Via Mariano Pallottini