Another Cool Place: June 2022

La Salumina A Delicious Joy
by Denise Sullivan

HURLEYVILLE, June 2022 — La Salumina, Hurleyville’s Italian-style salumeria opened on Main Street in April 2020, amid the first wave of the pandemic. Opening any business at that time was more challenging than ever, and owners Eleanor Friedman and Gianpiero Pepe had to change their business plan many times before they opened their doors.

Situated across Main from Casa Mia, and next to the Rail Trail parking lot, the once empty building displayed signage for a couple of years that indicated another similar business, Casella’s, would be opening there soon. Eleanor says that people still come in and ask what took them so long to open, and she gently explains, with a sense of humor, that they are not the same.

A salumeria is defined as a cured meat shop, or an Italian deli. Charcuterie, delicatessen, and salumi all share similar types of products and styles of production. LaSalumina is committed to using local, whole, pasture – raised pigs in the most sustainable and responsible way. They partner with local farms for their product, and they do their own butchering in the back of the store, a process which requires inspection by the USDA, an agency that had other priorities during the pandemic and was difficult to schedule. Because salumi products take months and sometimes years to cure and age, the production process is usually started long before a salumeria opens to customers, but Eleanor and Gianpiero pivoted and opened La Salumina as a small Tuscan styled market in April 2020, selling local products and imported Italian pantry items before their own cured meats were approved and ready for sale. Having lived and worked in New York City’s food industry, they were also delivering boxes of local vegetables and cheeses to city clients through their website, a service they have continued for distant customers who order and pay shipping for their goods.

With their first USDA approvals acquired in February of 2021, they are now offering a variety of cured, aged, and cooked products as well as a catering menu of cured, homemade cooked and baked foods. Full disclosure – this writer was over-the-moon happy when La Salumina opened, since an Italian pork store in Middletown had recently closed their doors for good. A favorite contribution to family dinners has always been antipasto appetizers, especially good cheeses and cured meats with olives and Italian bread sticks. Visiting and learning about the Tuscan-focused selection of products of La Salumina has been a delicious joy, especially since Gianpiero and Eleanor love being part of the local community and educating customers about their foods. They focus on the tastes and needs of each patron in the store, and tasting samples is a wonderful part of the visit. Panini sandwiches are available to go on Fridays and Saturdays, or you can sit outside the shop at a table to eat and enjoy it with a drink. Sundays they have house-made sourdough bread and a variety of focaccia, from a dough they developed together with a nod to Gianpiero’s grandmother, a pizza maker from Naples, Italy.

Look up the La Salumina website and get on their email list to see weekly specials, or visit the shop in person on Thursdays through Sundays when they are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays until 6 p.m. It’s another cool place in the happening hamlet of Hurleyville!