Delicious Deli - Exploring Artisan Cured Meats and Gourmet Lunch Meat

Written by Jordan Brown March 25, 2024

Lunch meat: the everyday heroes of sandwiches and low-on-time meals. With ever-increasing options far beyond the classics like ham and bologna, the deli is now a place of artisanal indulgence as well as convenience.

Gourmet cured meats from cappocolo to pistachio mortadella and jamones make those quick meals a moment to savor in the day, rather than a check off the list. So many choices offer endless culinary possibilities, far beyond a stacked sandwich or a beautiful charcuterie board (not that you’ll find us turning either of those down!).

With the many incredible sliced-to-order options available in our Market, we’d like to take a moment to break down the deli and all its mouthwatering meats.

1890-1900s Spanish Harbor in San Sabastian - Library of Congress|Food Related|San Antonio TX

Understanding Artisan Deli Meats

Artisan deli meats are crafted using traditional methods and high-quality ingredients, often infused with herbs or spices, and occasionally wine or spirits. These delicacies, often sourced from premium cuts of meat, undergo meticulous, sometimes generations-old curing processes to become the delicious cured meats we know and love. Once the meat is well-seasoned, time itself takes over while the artisans keep a close eye. This curing and aging process can take up to a year or more of careful watch before the meat is deemed ready to slice and enjoy. There’s a lot that goes into this tedious, time-honored tradition of curing meats, but it’s well worth the effort. Learn more about the curing process here!

The World of Gourmet Cured Meats

The world of gourmet cured meats is as wide as it is flavorful. Most cultures have some form of cured meat in their history; the essence of their cuisine captured in a tapestry of seasonings and curing techniques. The variations in flavors, even amongst meats from the same countries give endless opportunities for new culinary adventures. Let’s quickly tour a handful of the most popular producers of cured meats around the globe:


    It’s no surprise that Italy is high on this list. A bountiful culinary history has resulted in countless distinct but equally scrumptious cured meats throughout its many regions. The differences in local geography and techniques impart their own subtle flavor profiles in the meat during the curing process.

    Italy’s many cured meats can be enjoyed in endless ways, like in sandwiches and paninos, chopped into salads, or as delicious pizza toppings. Our collection of sliced-to-order Prosciuttos, Pancetta, Coppa and Capicola, Mortadella, and Salamis will help you create everything from creamy carbonara to the perfect Italian grinder.


    Spanish cured meats also vary in flavor and technique depending on region. These regional variations give us the renowned Jamon Serrano as well as Jamon Iberico, regarded as one of the best cuts of pork in the world. Other popular Spanish cured meats, chorizos, share the same basic preparation and spices, but each have distinguished characteristics in texture and flavor.

    Explore the range of jamones and chorizos on a charcuterie board or as hors d’oeuvres with Spanish cheeses, olives, and peppers. Classic Spanish recipes frequently feature these meats with eggs and potatoes - the perfect savory start to the day.


    Of course, the creators of charcuterie have a few of their own cured meats to add. A Parisian classic, the simply delicious Jambon-Beurre sandwich, would be only a baguette with brie and butter without the rich and tender Jambon ham featured in its name. From the salumi family, Saucisson is an air-dried sausage packed with irresistible garlicky goodness.

    United States:

    It is no secret that Americans love meat, and cured and deli meats are certainly part of that obsession. All-American favorites like pepperoni (invented in New York!), juicy turkey breast, ham, and cured sausages are being artisanally crafted like never before, sourced from domestic livestock and produced right here at home.

Serving Suggestions and Pairings

The deli is a versatile category that can serve up far more than sandwiches and charcuterie boards. Incorporate deli meats into salads, pasta dishes, and savory appetizers. Accentuate each meat with ingredients like cheeses, fresh or pickled fruits and vegetables, and of course something starchy, like artisan bread or crackers. Using flavors that will both highlight and cut through the richness of the meat will provide a truly delightful gastronomic experience.

Deli Meats and Charcuterie Boards

Charcuterie boards have surged in popularity in recent years, and it’s no surprise why! They are one of the few menu items you could find anywhere from a cozy Friday movie night, to a decent bar or a black tie wedding, and nobody would question its presence. Sure, the contents of each venue’s board are likely wildly different, but that wild versatility is one of the biggest appeals of the charcuterie board. A truly impressive board can be built on any budget, for any diet.

To make it easy, start with the rule of three on your board. The board should have at least three categories, but preferably a couple more! These categories, like meat, cheese, starches, fruits and vegetables, or condiments will create contrast in flavor, texture, and color. Then, choose at least three items within each category to ensure a variety of pairing combinations on your board. Since meats are essential to a charcuterie board, it’s best to start there and select your complementary flavors.

Check out our blog on how to build the ultimate indulgent charcuterie board, or browse our selection of sliced-to-order meats to create a board your wallet and tastebuds will both love.

1890-1900s Spanish Harbor in San Sabastian - Library of Congress|Food Related|San Antonio TX

Addressing Common Misconceptions about Deli Meats

We all know the rule that everything is best in moderation. Deli and cured meats are no exception to that rule. If you’re anything like us though, saying no to a meaty sandwich or a beautiful charcuterie board is next to impossible. Our team works hard to source meats that are wholesome enough that we can indulge (often). Our recipe for success lies in looking for producers who care about the product, where it came from, and using it to the fullest potential. That level of dedication creates exceptional cured meats utilizing few ingredients other than spices, salt, and heat or time.

Of course, you should always check nutrition labels for specific dietary concerns. Find nutrition information, ingredient lists, and other helpful information for most of our products by viewing the description menu on the item’s page.

1890-1900s Spanish Harbor in San Sabastian - Library of Congress|Food Related|San Antonio TX

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