Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Whole Beast - Artisan Salumeria

I have been meaning to write about the amazing new charcuterie on Oak Bay Avenue, the Whole Beast.   I am very much impressed with the product and even more so at how reasonable the prices.  Cory Pelan is doing something amazing at his shop.

The space was previously the bakery/coffeeshop Kadalima, a decent enough place but not one I would cross the city for.   The Whole Beast shares the space with the Village Butcher, to which there is a natural synergy.  


The whole foodie movement going on is creating a lot of new decent suppliers of all manner products, but I find most of them very expensive for what you get and often the quality of the product is only slightly better than existing products.  The Whole Beast is not like that at all.   The product is very good and the prices are very reasonable.

So far I have had some of the salami, the chorizo, some other sausages, and bacon.  I have yet to have anything that was not of a superior quality.

The one thing I should note is that their salami is nothing like the commercial varieties.   It is not a fat and evenly round tube of  meat.   Cory's salami is much thinner and not uniformly round.  He also uses a much coarser grind/chop of the meat.   This means his salami is not really well designed to be a sandwich meat.   This does not mean it is a bad salami, it just means it is a different product which has different uses.

My single big problem with the Whole Beast is the location, and this is my problem and not something that is the fault of the shop.    Being on Oak Bay Avenue means it is not close to where I live and actually not close to any other place I shop at.   Getting there is something I do at most once every few months.  I am certain that over the next three weeks I will get there to buy cured meats for Christmas but after that it is likely to be months before I get back.

That said, there is an increasing number of suppliers located over in Oak Bay that I do like - Slater's Meats, Octavio and now the Whole Beast.  

Here is their list of products:
Our rotating product list:
SALAMI TOSCANA
SALAMI FINOCCHIONA
SALAMI BASTARDO
SALAMI “THE BEAST”
LAMB SALAMI WITH SUMAC AND LEMON
LARDO SALAMI
FAIRBURN FARM WATER BUFFALO SALAMI
SALAMI VENETA
SALAMI LIMONE E FINOCCHIONA
COPPA
LONZINO
PROSCIUTTO (about six months away)
WATER BUFFALO BRESAOLA
GUANCIALE (smoked or non-smoked)
PANCETTA
SMOKED PANCETTA
COPPA DI TESTA
MORTADELLA
LARDO
MAPLE ROSEMARY BACON
SOY AND 5 SPICE BACON
BUCKBOARD BACON
SMOKED GUANCIALE
SMOKED PANCETTA
DOUBLE SMOKE BACON
POLISH HAM SAUSAGE
GARLIC COIL
WATER BUFFALO PEPPERONI
BEEF AND PORK PEPPERONI
ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE
CHORIZO
BBQ SMOKIES
EUROPEAN WEINERS
KABANOSI
SMOKED WATER BUFFALO SAUSAGE
HEAD CHEESE or COPPA DI TESTA
TROTTER BRAWN
KISZKA (liver and heart)
SMOKED CORNED BEEF
CORNED BEEF
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