Pig-Free Salami and Pretty Pickled Peppers
On Hellenic Farms’ Fig Salami, DeLallo's Sweet & Tangy Pepper Drops, and Mannequin Pussy's "Pigs Is Pigs"
Hellenic Farms’ Fig Salami and DeLallo Sweet & Tangy Pepper Drops
I’m back, babies!
I just spent a month driving around the country to visit friends and family for the holidays and holy Cow Tales candy sticks do have some snacks to share with you.
I picked up a weird peanut thing in Arkansas, some mushroom-flavored chocolate in Dallas, and a pack of space-inspired wafer cookies at a very strange travel stop in New Mexico. But! Before I get into all my new discoveries, I want to tell you about two edible accouterments that made my 2021 a little more delicious.
Surely you are familiar with food boards, those enormous, eye-catching displays of charcuterie, cheese and crackers, even candy and snack cakes intended to impress — and feed — large crowds. I love them. The internet loves them. They’re inescapable.
But here’s the thing: parties no longer exist. Food boards — highfalutin troughs of finger foods — are not compatible with COVID. So last year I stopped daydreaming about all the ways in which I could cover my dining room table in cheese, crackers, and snack cakes (I was going to make a giant Little Debbie Swiss Roll out of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls 😭) and I embraced the food board as a single-serving situation.
I deserve $20 worth of cheese for lunch!
You deserve $20 worth of cheese for lunch!
Food boards can be for a party of one! (Or two. I shared with Robby. Sometimes.)
In my efforts to craft a well-rounded, meat-free snacking experience, I’ve uncovered two ingredients that have elevated my cheese and cracker experience: DeLallo Sweet & Tangy Pepper Drops and Hellenic Farms Fig Salami.
DeLallo’s pretty pickled peppers supply the perfect pungent pop.
But seriously, they’re a game-changer — they bring a bright, vinegary punch that offsets the richness of the cheese. They’re good for more than just a cheese plate — I’ve also put them on salads, pizzas, and even vegan cheesesteaks I ordered from Joe’s Steaks via Goldbelly.
The Hellenic Farms’ vegan salami is another textural marvel — fig seeds are just the best, aren’t they? This vegan “salami” is only like salami in that it is also tubular in shape — there’s nothing really “meaty” about it. It’s a dense, sliceable, and kind of chewy combination of dried figs and other flavorful ingredients like pistachios, Aleppo pepper, smoked paprika, and orange zest.
The paprika and Aleppo flavor was a little too earthy for my tastes, but the pistachio and cinnamon and almond and black pepper versions were both excellent. They were less sugary and sticky than fig jam, but they still brought an appreciated sweetness to the mix.
Finally, a vegetarian charcuterie option that isn’t room-temperature fake meat! Shudder.
“Pigs Is Pigs” by Mannequin Pussy
Is it a little too on the nose to bring up, say, defunding cops in a post about pig-free salami? Probably. But whatever, I’m rusty. I haven’t written more than 50 words in approximately 3,000 years (aka five weeks in pandemic time), so please allow me a bite of low-hanging fruit so I may share with you one of my favorite songs released in 2021.
Mannequin Pussy’s five-song EP Perfect is great — perfect, even (I told you I’m rusty) — and “Pigs Is Pigs” is the standout track. It’s the first time bassist Colins “Bear” Regisford takes lead vocals, and it’s a powerful display of the fear, anger and frustration Regisford feels daily as a Black man in America.
In the opening verse, Regisford spits out:
Dealing with my feelings
And I’m dealing from my home
Oh god, don’t wanna die alone
Shaking up and keeping down
The words sit in my throat
Losing sleep and keeping names
And nothing seems to change
And it’s fucked!
It’s totally fucked.
Police killed 1,134 civilians in 2021, according to mappingpoliceviolence.org, and 28% of those who were killed were Black.
It’s impossible to hear the song “Pigs Is Pigs” — to feel Regisford’s anxiety — and not want something different.
A salami without pig. A society without police brutality. Imagine it.
Read more about defunding the police — and safer alternative community services — at defundthepolice.org.