Who would have thought. After all these years, that one breakfast entrée on the menu at Matt’s Big Breakfast would take me back to my childhood?? But one inhale and tastebud sensation later I am 6 years old, in a Belleville, NJ kitchen on a Saturday night, eating my Mom’s salami frittata.
Matt calls it a salami scramble. And it is served in an omelette format. Old world style salami from Molinari’s in San Francisco. Fresh eggs all scrambled up. It didn’t last long on my plate. In my book, real Italian salami is the sopressata version – wine and whole black peppers in the mix. Nothing beats it. When we were living in NoCal we could always get a small link or two. In Arizona I have seen some pre-sliced versions that come close. But Matt’s went to the source and got the good stuff. And I am grateful.
Back in the early Jersey days we didn’t live too high on the hog. Those were the Golden Circle bread days, when you could only get tangerines and pomegranates just in time for Thanksgiving, salami and cheese wheels were made to order, and you could even get a fresh live (yes, live, feathers and all) chicken if you visited the right places in the Down Neck section of Newark. Only being able to eat things at certain times of the year made them special. They tasted so much better for the wait. And it was an excuse to have a mini celebration.
I guess that’s why I really like the message of the eat local movement. It’s really a move back to when things were simple. Fresh meant it came from a place less than a day’s ride away, and we enjoyed everything in the moment. When it was gone, there were a load of memories (and maybe a few extra calories) to carry with us. I am sure I burned those calories up a long time ago. Walking was the major mode of transportation (as was the bus) – I walked to school, the library, grocery store and the local deli as well as all the childhood hangouts. Keeping warm in the winter and cool in the summer were challenges. Now the challenges are different. The struggles never end, just change perspective.
This year I’ll be in a full house for Thanksgiving. And if nothing else, I am more aware of my thousands of reasons to be grateful and give thanks for everything I have in my life. Now pass that sopressata down the table!!!!
Reminds me of a lunch I used to have in a Jewish deli on W. 47th Street, the Diamond District. I worked a few blocks away, in Rockefeller Center, and every now and then got the urge for some “deli.” Salami and Eggs, Pancake Style, with fries on the side! Probably like Matt’s Big Breakfast frittata, but made with Jewish Salami, which is quite different from the Genoa Salami and Sopressata we had in our house. Different, but delicious. Can’t wait for breakfast now, my favorite meal of the day.
It’s certainly the right part of the country! The two cultures have a lot of similarities. Buon appetito!