I first came across Pine Street Market (4A Pine St., Avondale Estates, 404-296-9672, www.pinestreetmarket.com) at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market, where the fresh-faced company was selling a small selection of its products. Later, in my kitchen, I discovered the beauty of Rusty and Travis Bowers' thickly cut bacon ($6.50 per pound), which has a sexy – not cloying – sweetness hinting of applewood, molasses and maple. It's the ultimate breakfast meat – and it's made locally. Color me won over and intrigued.
Rusty is a Culinary Institute of America graduate who's always had a passion for curing meat; he regularly made a variety of items while he was the sous chef at Pano's and Paul's. He opened Pine Street Market back in March 2009 with his wife, Travis, and their sole employee, Kyle.
Most of the salumi are made from pigs sourced from a farm in Godwin, N.C. The pigs are older so their meat isn't ideal in chop or roast form. But the tougher nature of the meat makes it perfect for smoked and cured products as it adds an immediate depth of flavor and age. The Bowers plan to launch a more boutique line of products made with artisan pork in the future.
Bowers is most proud of his coppa ($16 per pound), which he describes as "our version of prosciutto with a little kick." Pine Street recently introduced a line of freshly made sausages like kielbasa smoked over cherrywood ($9 for a package of five 6-inch sausages). The salumi – like the petit paprika ($5 for one salami) flavored with piquant Hungarian paprika, caraway seeds and a dash of Pinot Grigio – is worth exploring as well.
You can buy Pine Street products at the store in Avondale Estates, at farmers markets – such as Peachtree Road Farmers Market, the Marietta Square Farmers Market, Dunwoody-Spruill Green Market, Newnan Market – and online (www.pinestreetmarket.com), which is a simple way to ensure your fridge is always stocked with plenty of yummy cured pork. You can order by the piece, purchase a gift sampler, or join the "meat of the month" club (about $40 per month for a pound of bacon and one salami or sausage) to enjoy the salty and meaty goodness on a regular basis.