OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Salami lovers unite; today is National Salami Day. In this Zevely Zone, I went to Oceanside to meet the county's King of Salami. Just when you thought you knew everything about San Diego County, there is so much meat left on the bone. Olli Colmignoli comes from a long line of Italian salami makers. "I was born in Rome. My father did this, my grandfather did this, my great grandfather did this," said Olli. He is the founder and president of Olli Salumeria. We visited his 88,000 square foot salami processing facility in Oceanside.
Four generations of salami making means the recipes may be old, but not the technology Olli uses to ship the meat across the country. We found state of the art robots moving huge racks of meat. If the plant looks busy, it should, they sell 6 million pounds of salami a year.
Behind every huge door, you'll find hanging salami. Olli wants to share his preservative free salami with every American. "We make about ten different flavors," said Olli.
"We started in Richmond, Virginia and slowly worked our way out here," said Olli. Turns out, San Diego County's Mediterranean-like climate is perfect for curing salami because our weather is similar to the climate in Italy. "It is very similar, it's mild, it's not too hot, it's not too cold," said Olli. Olli's great-grandfather made his first salami in Italy and 172 years later, Olli found his slice of heaven in Oceanside.
"At Olli Salumeria, we’re always looking for fun new reasons to introduce Americans to the sweeter, less-acidic taste of our slow-cured Italian salami – so what better opportunity than National Salami Day?" said Colmignoli. “Beyond our national fans, we wanted to offer something special to our salami-loving neighbors right here in San Diego County.”
National Salami Day is an annual holiday established in 2006 by the Salami Appreciation Society, a group of amateur salami admirers determined to raise salami’s profile in the world of deli meat.
As a courtesy to San Diegans, the Oceanside company is passing out free Olli salami products to visitors to the Olli Salumeria booth on September 7 from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market in downtown San Diego.
Olli can be found nationally at Walmart and on Amazon, at select Whole Foods and Albertsons locations, and at an increasing number of regional supermarkets and specialty retailers across the country. For more information on the Olli story, curing technique and products, visit www.olli.com or follow Olli Salumeria Americana on Facebook and Instagram.
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