Salami is a beautiful thing. Sure, its roots as a popular way for people in European cultures to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration are humble, but the artisanal ingenuity of the curing process has also yielded some of the finest cuisine in the world. There’s nothing quite like a plate of thin-sliced salami with a good cheese, some fresh bread, and a glass of bold wine. Armandino Batali had a life-long passion for the art of the cured, dried sausage, which is why he and his wife Marilyn decided to apply their expertise to providing Seattle with some of the most flavorful salami in the nation. It’s for that appreciation of classical Italian eats that the locals love Salumi Artisan Cured Meats in Pioneer Square.

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Salami plate with fresh Italian bread. Photo by: Michael Sarko

Armandino Batali’s family has a long history with Seattle’s culinary scene. His grandfather, Angelo Merlino, opened the city’s first Italian food import shop back in 1903. After Armandino gave 30+ years to another Seattle institution, The Boeing Company, he and Marilyn took the reins of the family craft and opened Salumi on 3rd Avenue in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood.

Long before tasting Salumi’s hand-made products, there’s no doubt that it’s a local favorite. Especially in the warm months, it’s not uncommon to see a line of patrons running the length of the entire block out the little shop’s door. This is all part of the initiation experience. Once at the counter, it’s just a matter of choosing which of their unique creations to take home.

First-timers should spring for a variety platter to get a good idea of the range of flavors in the different salami. The traditional Salumi Salami is a good place to start. It isn’t too bold, but the ginger tones keep it lively. The Smoked Paprika salami is also out of this world, especially when thick-cut with hearty bread. Those looking for something a little different should definitely check out the complex Mole: spiced with chocolate, cinnamon and hot peppers, or the Finocchiona with its full-mouth fennel and curry character. Salumi also cures a few non-salami products like the rich Coppa pork shoulder and the unique, must-try Lamb Prosciutto. Budding chefs should also take note of the homemade Pancetta, often the secret ingredient in delicious gourmet dishes.

Salumi operates Tuesday-Friday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, but it’s best to show up early enough to secure a spot in line (or go on a rainy day). It’s definitely worth the wait, as there’s no better place in Seattle for cured meats.

Explore other shops that please Seattle locals’ taste buds:

George’s Delicatessen
Macrina Bakery
Caffe Vita