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Chef’s Creative Take On Sweet & Sour Fried Chicken Uses Deep-Fried Salami

San Francisco’s Comstock Saloon may contain over a hundred years of history within its walls, but the dishes its chef cranks out are anything but ancient.

With items like lo mein cacio e pepe and unicorn tuna tartare on the menu, chef de cuisine Jason Raffin has proven already he’s willing to push the boundaries of what’s possible with food. His latest dish, a take on sweet and sour chicken, does just that, fusing together a wide diversity of ingredients that unite in an orchestra of flavor.

The sweet and sour fried chicken uses half a pound of cubed chicken meat, but also features Columbus Craft Meats Italian Dry Salame, epazote (also known as Vietnamese sawtooth), jalapenos, and fermented pineapples. All of those are dredged in a 15-spice corn starch and rice flour blend, deep fried, and tossed with a house sweet and sour sauce. For garnish, Raffin adds more cubes of the salame, fried shallots, toasted white sesame seeds, and micro red shiso.

Since Comstock Saloon is located on Columbus Avenue, at the intersection of SF’s Little Italy and Chinatown, it makes sense that Raffin would draw from both food worlds in this dish. It’s also a quick shout-out to the salame itself, which started in SF just over 100 years ago on the same street.

The Columbus salame, which is locally made, does for the dish what Chinese dried sausage might do, but with an Italian twist. Its fermented, salty flavors intermingle with all of the other aromas and tastes each individual ingredient combines for an experience that’ll take your tastebuds on a wild adventure.

Comstock Saloon, which is a short distance away from Winter Walk SF (a holiday-themed event sponsored by Columbus Craft Meats) in Union Square, will be selling this creative dish for the entire month of December.

Created in partnership with Columbus Craft Meats.

Grocery Video

Meat Expert Explains The Differences Between Quality And Cheap Deli Meats

By no means am I an expert on deli meat. I enjoy eating meat, and occasionally grilling up a hot dog or two, but my expertise is as limited as what I see in the butcher section of my Italian deli.

There’s always a nagging in the back of my head when I buy meat, whether or not it’s actually quality stuff or just older cuts the store is trying to get rid of to customers who don’t know any better.

Well, Epicurious brought in meat expert Eli Cairo to point out the different between cheap and expensive deli meats in a fascinating YouTube video.

The meats Cairo covered included salami, ham, bologna, hot dogs, and prosciutto. In the video, he talked about the things you should look for when purchasing those meats, such as colors, regulated labels, and marbling. Cairo was given two meats, and was tasked with deciphering which of the two was more expensive through the sense of sight, smell, and taste.

Pretty useful if you’re one who frequents a deli, or simply enjoys snacking on deli meats. Check out the video and perhaps you’ll be a little wiser on your next meat run.

Fast Food What's New

Arby’s Is Now Selling PIZZA… Sliders

Arby’s has been knocking it out of the park as of late with their limited-time menu offerings. The Venison Burger saw two different launches recently and both flew off the restaurant’s countertops faster than a deer lost in a campsite.

The sandwich chain’s newest item, believer it or not, is pizza.

No, Arby’s didn’t suddenly become a pizza chain over night. Rather, the company has released a new Pizza Slider. The new item features pepperoni, salami, melted provolone cheese, and a roasted garlic marinara sauce on a slider bun.

The new slider will be available at participating Arby’s locations through the end of June. It will join the ranks of Arby’s slider lineup which includes: Ham ‘n Cheese Sliders, Roast Beef ‘n Cheese, Buffalo Chicken, and Turkey ‘n Cheese.


Meat The Salami That Can Supposedly Cure Your Hangover

For centuries, man has struggled to find the most sustainable cure to the looming nature of the next morning’s hangover, and time and time again, we fall short with a variety of weird and wonderful hangover cures. Well look no further! Until, of course, a new cure pops up in a week or two.

Serious Pig is a craft meat company (whatever that means) that has developed a stick of salami designed to help you limit or altogether dispose of your inevitable hangover. The salami stick, more officially known as Hangover Cured, was created by Serious Pig owners George Rice and Johnny Bradshaw, most likely after a night of hard drinking with the boys.

The Hangover Cured meat stick contains a variety of herbs and spices, with an emphasis on the chili and ginger ingredients, since ginger is known to help in dealing with nausea while the chili is used to boost endorphin production, or in layman’s terms, to “make you feel better.”

In order for the salami to work effectively and do its job, the user is supposed to nibble on it throughout the night (or day if you go that hard) in between drinks. Simply eating it the next morning won’t be as effective, as its main function is to use amino acids to create more neurotransmitters, which in turn helps the body transmit signals on a higher level of functionality.

Of course, the best way to keep away from a hangover is to simply slow down on the drinking. Lol, just kidding, it’s the holidays. Let’s get chocolate wasted!

Image Source: First We Feast, Borough Box, Asimo Iced Tea

Packaged Food

Whoa, Trader Joe’s Now Has A Spicy Salami SPREAD


While perusing our local Trader Joe’s, we noticed a brand-new item grace the deli meat aisle. Upon first glance, it looked like someone misplaced a stack of raw ground beef. Nope. Turns out Trader Joe’s has added a new Spicy Salami Spread to their cold cut section.

Technically, it’s called Trader Giotto’s Nduja (en-DOO-ya). Nduja is a pork salami ground into a creamy spread. It’s mixed with a bunch of spices, particularly paprika, as well as a tomato paste.

Trader Joe’s recommends spreading it on some grilled toast for the full effect.


We were too excited, however, and just grabbed a bag of tortilla chips from the spot across the street. Tasted pretty fire.

A six-ounce tub of Salami Spread goes for about $3.49 at Trader Joe’s. Might grab a fat stack of these for the holidays.

Fast Food

Arby’s Unveils Massive New ‘Loaded Italian Sandwich’


Arby’s is taking inspiration from Italy with its new Loaded Italian Sandwich.

The sandwich features thinly-sliced ham, salami and pepperoni as the meats. It’s also stuffed with banana peppers, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onion, garlic aioli, red wine vinaigrette and melted cheese. The sandwich is served on a toasted Italian style roll.

You can find the Loaded Italian Sandwich at all participating Arby’s locations for a limited time. They’ll usually go for around $4.99 as a sandwich and $6.99 for a combo of curly fries and drink.



What 24 Pizzas From The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cartoon Look Like IRL


As a kid, I loved watching the ’90s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. Who didn’t? One of the things that stuck was all the ridiculous pizzas Michelangelo and his brothers would order throughout the series. As the years passed, I started to think some of those pizzas could actually be pretty delicious if done right. Though it did take a solid 22 years for anchovies to grow on me.

Like his Renaissance namesake, who would have thought Mikey was ahead of his time. Using some hunger-fueled imagination I recreated 24 of the most disgusting pizza orders from the TV show and turned them into something you could order at a restaurant. Cowabunga.


Tuna fish, peanut butter and grape jelly


Tuna ahi poke on top of a bed of seaweed salad and drizzled some hot, melted peanut butter and grape jelly on top. Went more for color than taste. Ending up tasting great so that worked itself out.



Peanut butter and clams


Drenched the pizza in a cajun peanut butter sauce with four fresh calms. The heat from the sauce really made the clams, no pun intended, pop. Crawfish for garnish.



Peanut butter, avocado and extra pickles


A bed of guacamole topped with avocado slices, melted peanut butter and some sweet dill pickle chips. This is actually a sandwich I make on many an occasion.



Marshmallow and pepperoni


Pepperoni and cheese pizza topped with roasted marshmallows. The marshmallows look like haunting little lifeboats on a sea of pepperoni.



Marshmallow and asparagus


Asparagus and cheese baked directly into the crust and topped with toasted mini marshmallows. Had to many different versions of this one before I settled on this. Couldn’t be happier.



Guacamole and Marshmallow


A generous heap of freshly made guacamole and topped with a single marshmallow lit on fire. Kids, don’t try this at home. Grownups, go nuts.



Butterscotch, onions and anchovies


Onion and anchovies caramelized in brown sugar and a butterscotch sauce. Tasted great but stunk up my kitchen like nobody’s business. Do turtles have nostrils?



Tea and toast


A buttered slice of toast on top of tomato sauce and sprinkled with tea leaves, parmesan cheese and more tomato sauce. The original concept for this had chunks of toast drenched in tea. NOT. APPETIZING.



Chocolate sprinkles and clam sauce


A cheese pizza made with a hearty clam sauce and chocolate sprinkles and garnished with green onions. Not easy to make clam sauce pop on a pizza. Had to tweak it into a chowder. Master Splinter would be proud.





Chocolate chips baked into the pizza and drenched with a generous amount of hot fudge. It’s essentially a cookie.



Chocolate fudge with extra garlic


A generous amount of fried garlic on top of a pool of melted chocolate fudge. Definitely not something you’d order on a first date, but then again, are any of these pizzas?



Chocolate fudge, sardine, chili pepper, whipped cream


A cheese and whipped cream pizza topped with shaved chocolate fudge and red chili flakes. Served with a fried sardine filet in chocolate fudge sauce. Any nutrients that piece of sardine contains is neutralized by that mountain of whipped cream. I guarantee it.



Anchovies and hot fudge


Hot chocolate fudge drizzled over anchovy filets on a sauceless white pizza. Until the day anchovies turn into giant mutated fish that eat people, they’ll forever be my favorite fish.



Pepperoni and hot fudge


A classic pepperoni and cheese pizza drizzled with a little chocolate fudge. Just a little. We’re not animals.



Pepperoni and pickles


Cheese and pepperoni pizza with sweet dill pickle chips. The pickles add a crunch that can be heard all through the New York sewer systems.



Jelly bean and sausage


A spicy pork chorizo and sour cream pizza topped with queso fresco and fresh cilantro and served with a jalapeño jellybean gastrique. The jelly beans had us stumped but luckily Reddit came to the rescue.



Salami pizza with double yogurt


Two servings of vanilla yogurt topped with fresh salami slices and drizzled with blackberry jelly. If you can get over the idea of salami and yogurt, it goes down pretty tastily.



Shredded coconut and sweet pickles


Pizza is topped with shredded coconut, drizzled with hot mustard and topped with sweet pickle chips. Shredder would be a crazy handy guy to have in this situation.



Strawberry with anchovy sauce


Caramelized strawberries served with an anchovy butter sauce and topped with whipped cream. This one was the most difficult to come up with. Thankfully, whipped cream saved the day.



Hot oatmeal


Hot, buttery oatmeal topped with brown sugar, honey and fresh strawberries. It’s another side to breakfast pizza.





Truffle oil popcorn with parsley flakes and parmesan cheese. There’s a pizza somewhere under that mountain of popcorn.



Anchovies and banana


Caramelized rum bananas and anchovy filets. The pizza that inspired this post. The bananas and anchovies were the perfect balance of sweet and salty.






Hot goulash served with crumbles of queso fresco. After a quick Google search of what exactly goulash was, it was pretty easy to make.



Granola and licorice 


Vanilla yogurt topped with granola and shaved red licorice. It was a bitch to hand shred licorice, but doesn’t it look pretty?



Video for verification


Salame al Cioccolato: Chocolate Salami

This Salame al Cioccolato originated from containers of leftover melted chocolate and nuts in our friend Grace’s refrigerator. The result is a reinterpretation of an Italian Dessert traditionally made using dark chocolate, cookies and dark rum. Grace used some quality dark chocolate, castr sugar, dark rum, unsweetened cocoa, tea biscuits, toasted almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios and sifted confectioners’ sugar for her work surface.

For those interested in having this dessert after your next big dinner, Grace has the entire recipe and ingredient list laid out on her blog.