Has making Charcuterie always been a family tradition?
When growing up, I learnt to make Charcuterie in Acuto, my father’s village near Rome.
Curing a whole pig for the various feast days was part of our family’s and the community’s tradition. For me, at first, it was a hobby, then a passion and I always dreamt of starting my own Charcuterie business. After working as a chef in London for 15 years, in 2017, my wife Becky and I started Perinelli Salami. We found a suitable unit space which we turned into a charcuterie chamber and began making commercially, trading at farmers’ markets.
How would you describe your Style of Charcuterie?
Perinelli Charcuterie closely follows the Italian Tradition – the curing times, the style of the products, the formats. What also fascinates me are the regional variations – how all over Italy, producers from the different regions make such astoundingly good products. Each one may be different and may reflect the area from which it comes.
Although a traditionalist, I’m always on the lookout for ideas. Recently we visited Valtellina – in Lombardy in Northern Italy – where they produce Bresaola and I learnt some interesting new techniques. Who knows where that might lead?
Who, where or what inspires you?
Obviously – Italian Traditions and their Producers. However, I’ve also been inspired by my fellow British Charcuterie producers. Particularly their high values of provenance, animal welfare, sustainability, the striving for ‘zero waste’ and of course, their innovation.
It’s so heartening to watch how the UK Charcuterie movement continues to thrive.
What about the Livestock – do you raise your own? If not, where do you source it?
Based in Penge in South East London, it would be rather challenging to raise our own animals. We purchase our meat almost exclusively from The Rare Breed Meat Company in Colchester and we use predominantly Blythburgh Free Range Pork.
Are Locally sourced ingredients an important part of your business?
Si……certamente! We make British Charcuterie following ancient Mediterranean Traditions but using high-quality home-grown British meat. Provenance and sustainability are a feature of British Charcuterie and are a central part of what we do. They represent the values that we wish to promote and support as a core part of British farming and production.
Tell me about Perinelli’s Product Range
We produce free-range pork salamis in 125g poker (snacking) sizes in various flavours – fennel, classic garlic & pepper, picante (chilli), London chorizo (sweet Spanish paprika), porcini and seasonally, venison & juniper berry.
In larger sizes, we produce our classic garlic & pepper, picante spianata (‘flattened’ or compressed) salami originally from Calabria and finocchiona – fennel salami typically from Tuscany and the region around Florence
We also produce capocollo (coppa) with a well-balanced fat-to-meat ratio, bresaola, guanciale and nduja. Our nduja contains a combination of chilli preparations and wood-fired roasted peppers giving it, we like to think, a delicious, uniquely fruity and spicy flavour.
What is your Favourite Product?
Our favourite, and the most popular with our customers, is the fennel poker. The aromatic toasted fennel seeds release their amazing aniseed-like flavour into the free-range pork during fermentation and curing resulting in a splendid combination. Our classic garlic & pepper salami comes a close second. It’s the mix of garlic and pepper that enhances both the flavours and the consistency/mouth feel, giving it a firmness and moistness that is so enjoyable and satisfying.
Thank you to Giuseppe & Becky