CHICAGO - Italian delis are all over the region, but a new one in West Town is unique, because they make pretty much all of the cured meats themselves.
Our Hungry Hound says the family is originally from Calabria, and one of their beloved, spreadable sausages is the star of a number of items they now carry in their store.
There are three generations involved in this story. The Calabrian butcher who speaks no English; his son, who began manufacturing soppressata, culatello and 'nduja here in Franklin Park, and then his son, who is overseeing the family's foray into a retail spot in West Town.
The new store is a deli like no other, where sandwiches are just a small part of the story.
The speck and slab bacon, the coppa and pistachio-studded pate... not to mention the cured meats and 'nduja, that spicy, spreadable Calabrian sausage that built a small cottage industry. All of these Italian delicacies are made locally, with few exceptions. That's because the family behind Tempesta Market in West Town, is the same one that started 'Nduja Artisans and sells it at their restaurant, Ristorante Agostino on the western edge of the city. But the market allows them to showcase everything they make in one place.
"Not everyone is going to go to Eataly, so we wanted it to be more reachable for our customers and more accessible for our distributors as well," said 3rd generation owner Antonio Fiasche.
Many of the items end up in sandwiches, like a porchetta with broccolini and chimichurri, or a sampler plate of meats, cheeses, mustard seeds and pickled onions.
"From soppressata, we make culatello, also getting into making some Spanish products now," he said.
The 'nduja is their baby though, and it's all over the menu.
"We're doing an 'nduja burrata," Fiasche said.
Think creamy, handmade mozzarella, but instead of stuffing it with cream, it's the spicy 'nduja - the combo of creamy richness with bold Calabrian chile-spiked sausage is hard to beat.
"We're making an 'nduja aioli that's going on our Dante, which is our version of an Italian sub with five other of our cured meats," he said.
Those would be finocchiona, coppa, mortadella, fennel salami and hot soppressata. If there was such a thing as a Super Bowl party fantasy sandwich, this is it.
They even make 'nduja-accented arancini, which definitely perks up your run-of-the-mill rice ball. Even olives are fair game.
"We actually have some beautiful, giant Spanish olives stuffed with 'nduja if someone wants to kick up their martini," said Fiasche.
In Steve's Extra Course video, he goes back to Tempesta to see how they integrate their spicy 'nduja sausage into their homemade vanilla gelato. Trust him, it works.
Extra Course: 'Nduja gelato at Tempesta Market
1372 W Grand Ave.