The last stop of January's quick trip to San Luis Obispo County was supposed to be Emporio Alle-Pia in Atascadero. But the 3pm closing time was too early for me to make.
Luckily, the salumi are served at Buona Tavola, its affiliated restaurant in Paso Robles so I stopped there on my way north. Booked solid even at opening hour on a friday night, a seat at the bar was available for me. I tried the Affettati Misti, $14.50, to get a sampling of the kitchen's choice of salumi and I put in a request for some of the Nduja. Besides the nduja, my other favorite was the salame sopressa that has a kiss of zinfandel wine.
The sopressa was $14 for a small stick and the nduja, $8. Sold on the fresh side, I liked the sopressa more after letting it age for an additional month. The casing was a bit hard to peel off, more so than other brands of natural casing salami I purchase.
Last weekend, I brought the nduja to a party where it was a decided hit. Alle-Pia's includes a bit of sundried tomato in the blend that provides some sweetness to balance the chile pepper heat. Even so, some folks found it too spicy, so YMMV.