Free the Salumi! The FDA Lifts Ban on Italian Cured Meats

Talking to Norbert Wabnig at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills about culatello

Cure your Monday blues with this news, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times: Per Italy’s ANSA news agency, the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is removing the ban on Italian cured meats. While many cured meats have been allowed in the U.S. since 1989, others are still illegal to import. What does this mean for lovers of salumi? As of May 28, you can purchase, sell and consume as much culatello as you want.

“Oh, so it’s butt you’re interested in?” joked Norbert Wabnig, owner of The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills when we called to ask about how the ban might affect the shop’s inventory. “Well, it’s worth knowing that there’s a domestic culatello that we’ve been buying, soaking in wine, and selling for years. But yes, the lifting of the ban, if it does go through, would mean that we’ll be stocking more imported Italian cured meats. It could be very interesting. It would be nice to have some really good bresaola.”
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills has been one of the places to go if you’re looking for, say, some of that rich and difficult to find Jamón Ibérico de Bellota “pata negra,” or even a few slices of traditional Prosciutto de Parma. Hopefully, the lifting of the ban will mean a new selection of artisanal bresaola, salami, and pancetta. The FDA hasn’t yet released an official statement with details, but we’re already looking forward to wrapping thin slices of culatello around wedges of Weiser Farms’ melons this summer.