David Lebovitz/davidlebovitz.com

One of the reasons we’re hot to try Boccalone‘s prosciutto on our next trip to San Francisco – aside from the fact that Jake Godby features it as an ice cream flavor at Humphry Slocombe –  is the manifesto we found buried deep in Boccalone’s website. We love manifestos because we know the people who write them to be generally crazed and passionate about whatever their manifesto is about. The Boccalone people clearly are, because they’re addressing essences and serious life principles when they write about salumi (Italian for cured meat), like

Fine salumi teach us to live a patient life in pursuit of flavor, rather than a relentless hunt for ever-increasing quantity – to seek better, not more. This approach is not only good for the individual, it’s better for the world.

Were with them!

Here is Boccalone’s An American Salumi Manifesto:

Salumi are the noblest expression of meat – a marriage with salt, spice, and time that transcends individual ingredients.

Just as fine wine is more than fermented grape juice, fine salumi are more than mere salted meats. At their best, salumi connect us to the earth, reveal the essence of the whole animal, demonstrate respect for our ancestors, and inspire our humanity.

All great cultures have ancient traditions for food preservation that elevate meat beyond the realm of ordinary. Here in the United States, that tradition has been sacrificed in the name of efficiency, speed, and cost.

The time has arrived for a renaissance of American Salumi.

This movement will be led – first and foremost – by individual salumi lovers who recognize the character of fine salumi and value its place in their lives.

Fine salumi begin with extraordinary meat. Humanely and sustainably raised animals from heritage-breed genetics produce the best-tasting salumi. Industrially raised animals from modern cross-bred genetics produce inferior meat not suited for fine salumi.

Salumi celebrate the beauty of animal fat. Fat balances the flavor, texture, color of fine salumi. Contrary to common perception, pork fat is healthful: it is lower in saturated fat than butter and has twice the monounsaturated fat.

Salt is an essential element in preserving salumi. Salt illuminates the true flavor of salumi, it does not overpower it. Natural sea salts lend a milder flavor to salumi than do refined salts.

Fine salumi harmonize the flavors of meat, salt, and spice. Using fresh spices of the highest quality is no less important than using the best meats and salts.

Time is the most critical component in fine salumi. Increasing salt content and adding heat will accelerate salumi production but ruin the quality. Fine salumi simply cannot be rushed – there is no substitute for time.


Appreciation of salumi requires the patience to wait for the salumi to reach its peak perfection, a fleeting moment when taste is at its best. Fine salumi promote moderation by delivering a powerful taste experience in an unpretentious portion.

Fine salumi teach us to live a patient life in pursuit of flavor, rather than a relentless hunt for ever-increasing quantity – to seek better, not more. This approach is not only good for the individual, it’s better for the world.

Looking for an image to post with the manifesto, we typed “Boccalone prosciutto ice cream” into Google images. In the midst of pictures of ice cream and prosciutto makers, we found this, another sign of the deep and wild connections dry cured ham, and the internet, can lead make…


Related post: Prosciutto as Resource (w Ones to Try + Recipe)

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3 replies on “a manifesto about dry-cured pig and life

  1. In that Google Images search, if you push through to the source URL for that blue oval categories map, you end up at the blog for RGsquared LLC, what looks to be a very high-end business consulting group.

    It turns out that the blue oval was in January 2010 post appearing on the same page as a very recent post containing the phrase ‘Boccalone prosciutto’ – a serendipitous connection!

    The post that talks about Jake’s store uses it as an example to explore the post author’s notion of ‘customer delight’ and how organizations ought to strategically position themselves to achieve that wonderful and ideal goal.

    It’s late and I’m without an MBA, so I won’t even pretend to understand all the points the author outlines in the post. She does, however, ask some very thought-provoking questions that relate directly to the mission of The Improvised Life!

    In thinking deeply about customer happiness, she asks, “Can you engineer delight? Can people tell you what will delight them?’ … Delight seems to contain an element of surprise, something that is hard to predict, something that changes your perception of an experience. Mapping the customer experience and hearing what customers expect can tell you how to conform to those expectations, but how do you exceed them? How do you engineer delight?”

    She concludes by noting: “Achieving and maintaining delight demands alertness, adaptability, and artistry from organizations.”

    And aren’t those three things at the very heart of the improvised lives being chronicled here? If you want to engineer delight, then right there you have an infinitely purposeful toolkit: alertness, adaptability, artistry.

    Nice find!

  2. Daniel, thanks so much for this insightful and delightful sharing. An MBA is one thing, presence is another.

    This post itself moved me as well.

  3. Daniel, thank you so much for following that image to its origins and reporting the treasure buried within. We should have, but it was very late and I guess we were beginning to lose focus. It is amazing that the post about “customer delight” was there. It speaks to many things, of course (including, I imagine, the people at Boccalone prosciuto), but we love the connection you made to the improvised lives we write about….Boy, do you have your eyes open!

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