Disaster in Sausage-Land


Snap these sausages up when you see them around town, because a key packaging facility in South San Francisco burned to the ground. Shown above, Columbus’s uncured dry salame (left) and the transcendent cacciatore (right).

Sixty-five fire fighters responded to multiple alarms at the Columbus Salame plant in South San Francisco at 2 a.m. Friday morning and fought the blaze for nearly seven hours before it was extinguished. The air was perfumed with burning cured-meat products as one of the country’s most famous (and probably the best) salami makers took a severe hit.

Based in Hayward, California, across the bay, Columbus Salame was founded in 1917 in the North Beach region of San Francisco using recipes brought from Italy by the founders, Peter Domenici and Enrico Parducci, who started making sausages in their tiny apartment, regulating the curing conditions by opening and closing windows.

Now the company is recognized nationwide for producing salamis and other cured Italian and French pork products that actually taste pretty close to the originals. Columbus products are available at many local retail establishments, including Murray’s Cheese, where the above examples were bought on Sunday.