A guest who's been dispatched to fetch the Reddi-Whip from my fridge asks why there's lipstick around the nozzle. Dessert was consumed with less enthusiasm than dinner. But I am not ashamed. Unsanitary, yes, but not ashamed. When a girl's gotta have a pie-hole full o' aerosol whup cream, nothing beats standing at the open fridge, wrapping your lips around that white nozzle of dairy(ish) goodness, pulling the trigger and suckin' back a headful. It's not just the taste or the creaminess. The sensation itself is an unparalleled pleasure. In an instant your mouth goes from empty to shockingly packed with thick cream. I swear, I giggle a little every time I do it. And I'm not much of a giggler.
Sometime last year I was at a party where the above pictured snack meat was served. Lined up alongside cheeses, crackers, and crudité were these impossibly delicious herb-covered rounds of liquoury-intense Busseto Italian Dry Salami. I had the host show me the package (not THAT package, Mr. Host!), and thought I'd committed the name to memory. I hadn't. When I couldn't find what I thought it was in stores, including the one he'd said they came from, I asked the host about it next time I saw him. He tried to show me his package again (badaboom!), and said he had no memory of ever discussing salami with me, unless it was about hiding one (okay, that'll do).
I put the mysterious meat on my List Of Stuff I'll Never Find In A Grocery Store Ever, and kinda gave up. Now more than a year later, boom, there it is, at a new place that's just opened in my 'hood. (Under the old management, three male employees once rated my body parts as I passed, with assorted thumbs ups and thumbs downs. Funny how if the rate of ups to downs is in your favor, you feel less violated as a woman. Still. Limp-dick fuckers.) So I snagged some of the salami and used it on sandwiches and in pasta sauce, but mostly I just stood at the open fridge and pulled 'em one at a time outta the bag and popped them into my mouth.
Here's Where Tales 1 & 2 Collide.
(More sensitive readers might want to look away.)
There came a time when I simply could no longer bear not knowing what these two open-fridge treats tasted like together. Groan if you must, but I'm bearing my gastro-soul here.
Each slice of salami is about an inch across (a size that would've made Nigel Tufnel's backstage experience less stressful), and I started by building a smallish hill of whipped cream atop one. A Reddi-Whip can is no precision instrument, and the stuff can easily get away from you. So I worked on making smaller and smaller hills, until the whipped cream to salami ratio was just right. (Yes, typing that sentence made me realize just how ridiculous this is. But like most wake-up calls, I'm hitting the snooze button on this one.)
Anywayzzz, at one point, I realized I was making bizarre wee cannolis of a sort. Curiously combined, it's true. But damn, they's tasty. I'm not kidding. And too adorable not to take an out-of-focus picture for ya with my herb-encrusted fingers.
Recent visits to the store have netted no salami for 'dis mami, and I finally asked the right person why. Turns out it was a mistake. They never meant to carry it, was delivered to them by accident, so they sold what was delivered, and that's that. No more. Ever. I whined, cajoled, reminded them how profusely I'd thanked them for carrying it, etc. They don't care. So all that's left is a fond 8-ounce memory, a bit of lingering lunchmeatbreath (semi-permanent, apparently), and a single fuzzy image to assure me it was real. My salami/whipped cream cannoli joins Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and Dead Elvis buying a burrito at the 7-11 in The Gallery of Grainy Myths.
Makes me wish the rate-your-body-parts dudes were still there. THEY'D GET ME MY DAMN SALAMI.
Update to the Epilogue
A so very helpful reader contacted the good people at Busseto and asked wherethefuck in NYC and North Jersey can a sistah get her salami on. They replied:
King's Supermarket carries the product year round. We also sell to Food Emporium. They will be featuring the chubs 7/12/08. A&P, Pathmark and Shoprite bring product in on shippers each season, so they may be in or out of stock.
Heh. Heh heh. They said chubs. (I've now stocked up on both herb and peppercorn varieties.)
Addendum to the Update to the Epilogue
I've since also found the buggers at Gourmet Garage on the Upper West Side. While you're there, snag ya some Portuguese bread, red Cerignola olives, and their fabulous/perfect house-made gazpacho. And the sweet corn chowder's worth every drop of the $11 price tag.