We get plenty of chocolate over the transom here at the Saveur office. There’s no dearth of unsolicited cookies. (To those sending them: Thank you, really. You’re very kind, and we love them.) But the arrival of salty snacks is for some reason a rarer occurrence — and infinitely more yearned for.
When a salty snack arrives, the cry goes up across the cubicles, and the stampede ensues in the direction of the staff kitchen, the conference table, or the desk of the lucky recipient of a package of chicharrones, boiled peanuts, or other form of savory morsel. Sometimes I pity the hardworking denizens of our test kitchen. They slave away over a beautiful boeuf bourguignon, and we come in with the criticism: “Hmmmm. It’s pretty good. But can’t you add more x, y, and z?” But those potato chips that just magically appeared to fill the hungry gap between lunch and dinner? (Or, okay, breakfast and lunch?) Perfection at first bite. In that moment, they’re the best thing we’ve ever eaten.
Today’s windfall was a salame al tartufo from Creminelli, a Piedmontese salumi outfit that recently set up shop in Salt Lake City. Laced with the scent of black truffles, the sausage was earthy, animal, and — yes! — salty. I’ve been known to criticize the strangely persistent culinary trend of adding that often-overbearing truffle stank to any old dish and considering it improved. But this stuff was gorgeous. It made my afternoon. Perfection.