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Seattle Met Magazine

Salumi Preserves Pork, Yes—But Also Italian Tradition

FEW RESTAURANTS ARE steeped in lore like this sandwich counter in Pioneer Square. And it is a great story: When Armandino Batali retired after 31 years in quality control with Boeing, he didn’t take up golf—he took up cured meat. He studied charcuterie, then opened Salumi in 1999, preserving his ancestry’s meaty traditions across from the place where his grandfather, Angelo Merlino, once ran the Italian grocery that became Merlino Foods. 

Salumi’s lore began with that shift from engineering to sandwich slinging, but consider the meticulously varied grinds of pork and fat that give each salami that kaleidoscopic speckle, or the prized culatello that hang for nine months in a precise prescription of temperature and humidity: quality control and preserving tradition are two different ways of saying the same thing.