Spent a few days in San Antonio and Abilene, Texas, recently —- and I’m embarrassed to say that we never once tasted any authentic Texas cooking! Circumstances dictated that we did most of our eating at chain restaurants. Although I did manage to snag a forbidden sausage patty every morning at our hotels’ free breakfast buffets, plus grits and biscuits (no sausage gravy, thank you). And Texas-shaped waffles are de rigueur at all the local hotels, it seems. But no barbecue, no Tex-Mex, nada! Next time for sure.
So to console ourselves, when we returned home we made a beeline for Little Italy and Mona Lisa, where we bought a large sopressata sandwich and devoured it immediately. Not to mention Italian pastries, cookies and dried pasta from Filippi’s and Trattoria Fantastica to bring home. Yum. You can take the girl to Texas, but you can’t take the Italian out of the girl. Or something.
So what is soppressata? I’m no expert, but what I’ve had is a very delicious Italian mostly pork salami-type sausage, usually thinly sliced to be added to hero sandwiches (subs, hoagies, grinders, whatever you wanna call ’em). Some makers cure it; others cook it. Recipes vary, of course. To me, soppressata is a bit more pliable than regular Genoa-type salami.
If you ever get a chance to try it, do so. Those who like salami (and salumi) won’t be disappointed.