When I was a teenager, my dad took me along on a business trip to San Francisco and we went on a search for Boun Gusto Salami. Soon enough we ended up here:
(Located at 373 Columbus Avenue, Molinari Delicatessen in North Beach is now the last of it's breed. Open for over 100 years, the family deli is also a market featuring imported Italian staples, house-made pastas and sauces, and P. G. Molinari & Sons' famous salumi: Dry Coppa, Mortadella, Pancetta, Sopressata, and varieties of Salame, among others.)
Still wet behind the ears, I enthusiastically asked about my beloved Boun Gusto Salame… and was summarily kicked out into the street. From the doorway, I was subjected to a tirade ending in "This is Molinari. You want salami – ask me again!" Wow. Well, what a find. This was the stuff
. Molinari Milanese style pork and beef salame in easy peel casings, dry cured for 4 weeks. Heaven.
Upon returning home, we would have the 3lb salumi shipped to us a couple times a year. Back then they had a minimum order of 10 pieces, I believe, so – lucky friends got to partake. I continued to order directly from the deli over the years and they finally gave me a break – I could now order as few as three at a time.
These days, their products are available locally at Central Market and other specialty grocers… but it's not the same. I still order directly
from them once in awhile. It's kind of a pain – C.O.D. only – but I swear it's a different product right from the source.
And whenever I'm in San Francisco I drop by, have a sandwich out front and grab a couple 3 pound salami for the trip home.
Addendum: I did find Boun Gusto again. Last year. Surprisingly at that hidden bastion of goodness, the Gourmet Market at Sigel's Addison.
I damn near fell over when I spotted it in the chilled display.
I understand that Boun Gusto was bought out by another producer – but I do not have all the facts. The wrapper alone flooded me with fond memories (it is EXACTLY the same!) And the flavor was specific – I remembered it, and just wonderful. Talk about food being a time machine. I may now prefer Molinari, but I got a glimpse of my childhood while savoring this long lost contender. Anyway, if in the area, check out the Market at Sigel's Addison