We first heard about Salume Beddu when attending the STL Mag A-List Party and they had this spread of extremely tasty salami:
After then we’d occasionally run into their products while attending a party and the hosts bought some Salume Beddu, which usually was completely devoured within minutes (a lot of it by us). Then we started noticing more and more buzz about them on twitter and intagram and we knew we had to pay them a visit, especially since we live just a few miles from their location.
Salume Beddu is a little easy to miss when driving down Hampton in South City. It’s got a very unassuming exterior and its built into a strip mall. We had driven past it hundreds of times in the past and we didn’t even know it was there. Also, once getting in there is a very little room and seems more like a place to pick up ingredients to take away than a place to eat. Don’t let any of that dissuade you; it’s a wonderful place to eat.
Come at the wrong time and you will not be able to find a place to sit down, but the patrons usually do not stay too long. Really, dine-in seating seems like an afterthought, but the food is totally worth it.
First off, we are not Italian and the menu is very, very Italian. And not “Olive Garden” Italian. I always get a little embarrassed at Salume Beddu when ordering because I generally do not know how to pronounce things on the menu, but that’s a good thing as I love learning new things and there is no shame is being a neophyte in anything as long as you are willing to learn. Lesson #1 for me was ‘Nduja:
In wikipedia it states, “‘Nduja is made using meat from the head, trimmings from various meat cuts, some clean skin, fatback, and roasted hot red peppers which give ‘nduja its characteristic fiery taste.” Fiery is indeed the operative word here. This is a spicy, spicy dish and those with delicate tastebuds should steer clear of this one, but for those like us who are adventurous and love extreme flavor it is one of the best things to have in St. Louis. I wouldn’t suggest having it everyday, but as an occasional treat it’s an extreme burst of flavor we’ve come back for again and again.
Salume Beddu has a regular menu, but besides getting the ‘Nduja we generally order off of the specials menu which changes every day. The shot above is of a Fiocchetto plate they offered when we were in one time. Fiocchetto, which means “bow” if I understand correctly, is ham taken from the inner part of the leg. Salume Beddu stated on one of their instagram posts that this was seasoned with smoked paprika and ancho chile and was aged it for ten months. The end result was absolutely delicious and well worth the time spent curing. It paired perfectly with the idiazibal cheese, quince paste, and crostini.
Zuppa Di Fagioli is a hearty white bean soup that is perfect comfort food for cold winter days. Some recipes call for bacon to be added, and we were not sure if Salume Beddu’s version was vegetarian or not, but either way it was bowl-scraping good.
Cotechino is a boiled Charcuterie item that is supposed to bring good luck in the new year. Here it is paired with some perfectly crisped polenta and topped with blood orange and balsamic vinegar. Another simple and delightful dish where the ingredients are designed to highlight their artisan charcuterie.
Probably their most talked about special is their Bahn Mi Sandwich with cotechino pate, tons of pickled veggies, cilantro and Sriracha aioli. On the day we decided to try it we lucked out and got the very last one they could make that day. It was an awesome sandwich, with some perfectly textured bread and all the ingredients nicely complementing each other. Not too spicy but full of a lot of complex flavors without being overwhelming. Just a nice sandwich that we’d definitely order again.
All in all we love Salume Beddu and it makes a great stop for lunch, though the place is moreover designed to be a deli and a place for restaurants to get supplies than to be a diner. We haven’t tried getting the lunch menu for carry out, but they probably would if asked. Either way, the food is totally worth knocking elbows with your neighbor while eating. It’s seriously good and a serious artisan charcuterie place is something that St. Louis has been lacking when compared to other great cities.
Pay them a visit and learn a whole new vocabulary of flavor.
- Style: Charcuterie, Deli, Sandwiches
- Pros: Authentic Italian charcuterie and lots of dishes with packed with flavor
- Cons: Tiny, cramped dining area that seems like an afterthought.
- Charlie’s Favorites: Bahn Mi, ‘Nduja, Zuppa Di Fagioli
- Christine’s Favorites: ‘Nduja, Charcuterie Plates, Bahn Mi