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Molinari Is Top Choice For Whole Deli Salami

Molinari Is Top Choice For Whole Deli Salami

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In July, we ran the results of a taste test of packaged, sliced Italian salami. That column generated more response from readers than any had for a while. All the e-mails asked the same question: Why didn’t we include Molinari salami, a classic San Francisco product?

The reason for this was that supermarkets don’t carry packaged, sliced Molinari salami. But we decided it was time to do a separate tasting of whole dry salami. The salamis were bought either whole or in large pieces from a deli, then uniformly sliced the day of the tasting.

It turned out that our taste panel couldn’t have agreed more with the Molinari fans. Molinari (1 pound, $6.99 at Andronico’s) scored 84 points, placing it in The Chronicle’s Taster’s Choice Hall of Fame for products that score 80 points or more out of a possible 100. Panelists commented on the brand’s “nice balance of meat and fat,” “good seasoning” and “nice, dry inner and outer texture.” All panelists would buy this product.

Scores dropped dramatically after top place; second-place San Francisco (8 ounces, $5.69 at Draeger’s) trailed by 27 points. Some panelists loved this brand, saying it had a “good flavor balance,” and calling it “a great saucisson.” Others thought it had too much fat and was too salty; one said it was “bologna tasting.” Two would buy it, two might buy it and one would not.

Just one point behind San Francisco was third-place Ticino (10 ounces, $7. 99 at Andronico’s), which most panelists agreed had “nice flavor.” One said it was “chewy, with nice large pieces of fat,” but others found it too fatty, saying it had “a greasy mouth-feel and soft texture.” Three would buy it and two would not.

Renaissance ($8.99 per pound at Bell Market’s deli) took fourth place. One panelist thought it had a “good peppery, meaty flavor,” but most complained that the texture was too fatty. One would buy it, two might buy it and two would not.

The panel also tasted Columbus and Gallo, but these brands scored too low to rate.

Panelists were John Carroll, cookbook author; Marc Halperin, culinary director, Center for Culinary Development; Shelley Handler, food writer and consultant; Tanya Holland, Television Food Network host; and Roland Passot, chef-owner of La Folie in San Francisco and Left Bank in Larkspur, Menlo Park and Pleasant Hill. A perfect score for any product would be 100. All products are tasted blind.

Buy Molinari Salami online right here!

San Francisco Chronicle Tara Duggan | September 4, 2002

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