small talk


dave, the butcher at evoe’s thought his best salami was salame toscano, from fra’ mani. he just collected three tightly paper-packed round and two foot long packages, laid out on his meat table and now began to peel and unfurl the wrapper of the first. the parcels looked much like one of christo’s art projects. you’ve heard of christo, the guy who shrunk-wrapped Germany’s Reichstag and who’s wrap of dom perignon bottles gave me a job for the times. i had no idea who christo was then, really, nor that the paper wanted a picture of the bottle as it was, wrapped. i did food photos mostly in those days and in that instant imagined an image of some of the bubbly. so i unwrapped a christo, popped the cork and poured.
i thought of this as i watched dave undo the paper encasing the length of salami. five pound of cured, meticulous beauty, salaciously tied, a thing, would christo do proud to have bound. dave’s knife slit the twine of the methodically knotted and lashed sausage. seductively carnal, as the twine fell away, of burgundy color, coarsely ground meat once he stripped off its slithery casing and set the steel for a paper-thin slivered half pound.


this hard salt salami does well with a ripe pear, or even figs i imagine, though those aren’t about, this being winter. we paved buttered pugliese in layers of meat for supper and a bottle of lambrusco had us in parma, well, almost, excepting the trickle of oregon rain out on the sill.