I went over to Citarella the other day. I wanted to see if they had any salame to buy. Interestingly, after trudging upstairs to their always empty appetizer section, I noticed they had a very small selection of dry sausage chubs (as whole salamis for home use are officially known). Most of it was stuff you could get anywhere, including (I kid you not), Hormel brand pepperoni. There was only one item that I had not seen many times before: Columbus Salame Companies "Crespone." This sausage is part of this San Francisco based companies artisan collection.
Crespone salami is salami that is abnormally shaped, as you can see in the photo. Originally, this is because these salami's were packed in the colon (now that's a gastroenterology fact if ever there was one!). Crespone Salami is made from coarse ground pork that is blended with sherry, garlic and spices. The sausage originated in the Brianza region of Italy (Milan to the Alps).
I really liked this salami. I think it helped a bit that when I first tried it, I didn't know what part of the intestine the "natural casing" came from, but I'm cool with it now. The salami has tender pork, and is well spiced. It tasted good with crackers, and has a great color. The only thing I did notice about this particular salami was that the casing was a bit difficult to chew or remove. I now know why! The Columbus Salame people do point out that soaking any natural casing salami in a wet paper towel for 15 minutes can make casing removal easier.