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Smitten for Salume Beddu

June 25, 2010

If you haven’t been to Salume Beddu’s new shop on Hampton Avenue, then go there now. Seriously. Stop reading this and GET THEE SOME MEATS!

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, SHAME ON YOU. Salume Beddu is a salumeria owned by Mark Sanfilippo & Ben Poremba. I first blogged about Mark’s meats (*snicker*) two years ago. I’m still fascinated that Mark initially moved to Los Angeles with a philosophy degree and dreams of becoming a screenwriter (I’m STILL waiting to read his Varsity Demon Cheerleader script!) but ended up making charcuterie at Mario Batali’s Pizzeria Mozza. The film industry’s loss is definitely our gain.

Cute Meat Guys: Ben and Mark

Thankfully, Mark & his wife Jamie moved back to St. Louis and are selling his cured creations at their new shop & at local farmers markets.  I finally stopped by the store a couple weeks ago & was impressed by how beautiful it is. The bright red & yellow decor of a former Steak-Out has been transformed into a modern space that I’d like to stake out…you know, bring a book and linger over lunch at the huge wooden table that sits in the middle of the store (*hint*).

The look on my face is called “smitten fangirl.” You can also see it here.

To the left of the storefront is a huge kitchen that gleams with stainless steel, where the meat guys bring in whole hogs to make magic from. Behind the store and visible through a window that is reminiscent of a peep show–if you’re into that kind of thing, which I am–is the cure room where gorgeous salumi hangs.

Meat Porn

I asked Mark if I could stop by yesterday for a behind-the-scenes look. I asked (and bribed with a promise of meat gifts) photographer extraordinaire Corey Woodruff to meet me there. When we arrived, Ben was setting out some salumi & other snacks. I certainly didn’t expect to be fed, but “it’s lunchtime” they insisted. Ok, so, if this is how they are eating lunch every day, I’d like to apply for a job there. SERIOUSLY.

Corey & I sampled roasted eggplant dip, country pate with pistachios, croccantini, and crema di lardo. “This is special for you,” Ben explained as he scooped small white balls from a little plastic container…after I mentioned my habit of sometimes smearing duck fat onto bread for a snack. To my delight, crema di lardo is a spread made from seasoned pork fat. We ate it on warm slices of crusty bread, and it was absolutely amazing. I wish I’d eaten more. Preferrably by the spoonful.

While Ben & Mark said they made the crema di lardo, there was no mention of if they would be selling any. My guess is that there isn’t enough extra fat on their pigs to make enough to sell. I certainly got the impression that it was something they make only for themselves to enjoy. Special, indeed. Thanks to Ben for offering me a taste. UPDATE 6/26: According to Salume Beddu’s Facebook profile, they ARE selling the crema di lardo & it is available this weekend.

I couldn’t find a recipe specifically for crema di lardo, but I did find one for “whipped lardo” from The GastroGnome that sounds similar. UPDATE: Though, I can only imagine that it’s nowhere near as good as what I tried at Salume Beddu. So, just go buy some from Mark & Ben and  save yourself the trouble. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.

Whipped Lardo

Like butter on overdrive, like meat in cream form, like flavor that is at once so simple and so complex that you must have another bite to figure out which one it is.”

1/3 pound pork back fat or leaf lard
1 small clove of garlic, mashed into a paste
1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
Salt, pepper, & rosemary to taste

  • Grind the fat through the smallest setting on your meat grinder. Add the garlic and vinegar and begin massaging air into it. As you work with the meat, folding in air using a motion like a back rub or milking a cow, it will get softer and softer.
  • Add in salt, pepper, & rosemary and begin to taste. It will need a decent amount of salt to bring out the full flavors, though go more sparsely on the pepper and rosemary for that big pig flavor.
  • When you’re done, spread it on a cracker or piece of bread and enjoy.

* * *

You can find Salume Beddu Salumeria at
3467 Hampton Avenue

They are open Wednesday through Friday 1-7 & Saturday 11-4.

Tell them Kelly sent you! 😉

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2010 9:52 am

    I should also mention that Salume Beddu sells other specialty food goods, like dried pastas & beans–including beluga lentils, which aren’t found anywhere else in St. Louis–oils, vinegars, and several imported items.

  2. June 25, 2010 7:01 pm

    I should also also mention that both Ben & Mark will be teaching upcoming hands-on classes at Kitchen Conservatory…

    Ben’s class is on July 14 @ 6:00 pm. He’s making Moroccan flatbread, fennel salad with preserved lemons & mint, roasted eggplant marinated in a lemon-garlic-coriander dressing, stewed chickpea salad with spicy harissa, and lamb sausage in a tagine of peas & artichokes.

    Mark’s class in on July 19 @ 6:30 pm. He’s making pizzas, include some with his own sausage.

    • July 29, 2010 6:07 am

      What a wonderful write up. I think that Salume Beddu is one of the most beautiful store in Saint Louis. Their entire line is exquisite! Love your blog and will subscribe. Thank you … Liz


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