Stressed? Hungry? Consider Meat Therapy



This week's review of Taste begins with praise for the prosciutto that chef Adam Altnether cured over the past fifteen months. A few weeks ago, I went into a deep reverie over lunch at salumeria Salume Beddu. What could have made either experience even better?

How about a relaxing spa session that involves the cured meat themselves. According to an Atlantic article by Faith Willinger, a restaurant outside Parma offers salumoterapia -- therapy using cured meat.

...[W]e were given large cloth napkins, to be placed over one's head and the plate, deeply inhaling the porky perfumes, stimulating salivary glands and appetite. Remove napkin, taste salumi, and drink sparkling wine--Champagne, Italian sparklers, or Lambrusco. Then head for dinner. I felt renewed.
The premise is so outlandish -- lardo massages? -- that I keep waiting for the "Ha! Ha! We were kidding!" follow-up post.

Looking for insight into the restorative powers of cured meats, I called Mark Sanfilippo of Salume Beddu (3467 Hampton Avenue; 314-353-3100). He hasn't heard of salumoterapia, but he doesn't dismiss it outright, either.

"Lard does make my hands pretty smooth," he admits. "But it always leaves them greasy."