If you happen to be in the Ann Arbor area (and have a large wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket), you must make a trip to Zingerman’s Deli.

Two meat cones and a cheese counter in the background. The meat on the right of the foreground cone is the acorn-eating Jamón ibérico. It was amazing, but proscuitto was the favorite.

The meat and cheese counter there is amazing, and they’ll let you sample anything — including $200/lb free-range, acorn-fed Jamón ibérico (cured Spanish pork) and $30/lb goat cheese. If you’re willing to pay for the convenience of getting five mystery samples all at once, they offer a $5 “meat cone.” The deli guy or gal will pick and slice the meats, then explain what each one is to you.

We suggest picking up a block of the city goat cheese — made fresh in Ann Arbor — and a side of olives or mushrooms to go with the meat cone (or cones). And you don’t necessarily  have to overlook the baked goods counter; there’s a Townie Brownie made with quinoa and amaranth flours and it is delicious! Or you can find a specialty bar of dark chocolate near the register.

Finally, don’t miss out on the olive oil and balsamic vinegar samples that are usually available. The prices are high enough that you probably won’t walk out with a bottle, but you might find a new appreciation for a well-aged balsamic.

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