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Feb 17, 2011
11:55 AM
Local Bounty

Knight Salumi Closes

Knight Salumi Closes

It started with a broken floor drain and ended with a missing signature. Those are the bookends of the closing of beloved food institution, Knight Salumi. I spoke with owner Rey Knight to find out the story behind his cryptic message on his website and on Twitter. He explained that in November the U.S.D.A. instructed him  to fix a floor drain. Since that required shutting down production Knight asked one of his consulting clients, a salumi company in St. Louis, if they could co-pack and produce some product for him in the meantime. They did, but just before the holidays when the product was ready to ship, the U.S.D.A. seized it and ultimately had it destroyed because the St. Louis plant was missing a signature in its paperwork. Knight fought the U.S.D.A. but lost, his insurance wouldn’t cover the loss, and Knight, now broke from the process, had to dissolve the company.

This is a huge loss in the local food community. Knight Salumi had broken ground in San Diego with its masterfully seasoned, utterly seductive sausages. Just over a year ago Knight invited me to spend time at his kitchen so I could learn how he turned pork into gustatory magic, which I, of course, wrote about. My favorite salami was the sopressata, but I also looked forward to weekends when I would buy a fresh sausage hot off the grill, smothered in mustard and sauerkraut. For now, Knight Salumi fans will have to find another savory substitute. His former partner Albert Juarez is continuing to make salumi as Meat Men LLC and Knight is working with him as a consultant. You can find Meat Men at the Ocean Beach, Poway, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside PM farmers markets. And stay tuned for Knight’s next move. On June 1 he’s going to start making beer under the name Butcher’s Brewing.  

Old to new | New to old
Feb 18, 2011 01:07 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Ciao, Knight Salumi! Sad.

Feb 25, 2011 03:59 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The USDA and FDA cant control the sanitation issues in its own subsidized facilities that contribute to hundreds of illnesses/deaths in a year but they don't hesitate to go after the small family operations... This kind of BS makes me FURIOUS!!! Yet another family owned buisness snuffed by the feds... VIVA SLOW FOODS!!! -R. Anderson

Mar 2, 2011 09:59 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

If you ever spent a night while experiencing vomiting and/or diahrrea resulting from salmonella poisoning, then you will understand why the USDA is so hard-nosed.

I do not want my food to be made in an unsanitary way. A broken drain is unsanitary.

Food safety is not a joke.

Food whether fast or slow, needs to be produced with consumer-safety in mind.

A small company can be clean and successful (GOOGLE "La Espanola Meats").

Mar 24, 2011 12:21 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

hard nosed!? is that how the USDA acts when allowing hormone and antibiotic pumped animals to be sold at regular supermarkets -- or green lights more GMOs that don't get labeled? Consumer safety is the last thing on the mind of the USDA. F the USDA. Their ideas on food safety are a joke.

Knight was a GEM, and used ALL sustainable, humane, and chemical free products. The final product was amazing. I asked about the pork used, and the owner sent me a list of exactly what farms he sources all his raw product from. Try that at Ralph's, or better yet, Taco Bell. One USDA bureaucratic mishap shuts Knight down, while agribusiness keeps its poison distribution cartel going.

Hope to see Mr. Knight bounce back!

Apr 7, 2011 02:42 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Wow, this is a horrible loss for our community.

May 31, 2011 11:57 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Ugh. heartbreaking. just saw the feature on "Foodcrafters", went to look up buying some online and saw the doors were closing.

As far as the USDA being "hard nosed" that's a joke. "Beef Products Inc", the company that manufactures "pink slime" for hamburger filler out of ammonia treated beef trimmings that come from places on the cow likely to have come in contact with feces, was exempt for years from the usual routine inspections. Incidentally, research on the safety of their "product" came out of Iowa University research funded by guess who? Beef Products Inc. When the University tried to publish their info, BPI sued them. Only after an expose piece by the New York Times did this exemption get revoked this year.

So they're concerned for your safety? I'd much rather eat the kind of carefully made product produced by someone who cares, who sources the best possible meat from the healthiest animals than what the USDA tells me is ok. What a pity they've been put out of business.

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Local Bounty stays in season with news and tips on the best local produce, products, growers, farmers and markets in the San Diego region. Reporting lead by columnist Caron Golden.

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About This Blog

Local Bounty stays in season with news and tips on the best local produce, products, growers, farmers and markets in the San Diego region. Reporting lead by columnist Caron Golden.

Archives

Recent Posts