Salumi may be native to Italy, but a taste of the premium-quality, acorn-fed offerings from Iowan craft meat maker La Quercia may be enough to convince even diehards that the culinary art form is thriving in the U.S.
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Kathy Eckhouse, Co-Founder and Owner of La Quercia, to learn more about the company and its mission-based approach to making the best products with the best practices.
“So a number of years ago, we spent three and a half years in Parma, Italy. And we really learned to enjoy Italian food and Italian salumi in particular,” Kathy told me. “And we decided we should make something delicious with pigs in Iowa—so we started making the meat at home, and eventually in 2004, we decided to build a prosciutto making plant—and it's been really quite a road.”
From the beginning, Kathy noted, she and her husband and Co-Founder Herb Eckhouse have been committed to the highest standard of animal welfare.
“From the beginning we've been really committed to using clean meat. So now the meat that we buy, in addition to being no antibiotics—no CAFO production—is also outdoor access, deep bedding,” Kathy added.
Kathy continued: “A lot of animals are also, basically, pasture raised, and we're really excited about that because we believe the life the animal lives is really a critical part of how good the cured meat we make is.”
To learn more watch our video interview above. And check out our forthcoming interview with Herb at a future date.