Cured meats are delicious, but not exactly a fun topic for partytime conversation (unless it’s a prosciutto and cheese party, sure). If there’s some dude hanging around explaining how the salami avoids being ruined by mold, or the difference between jamon and prosciutto, he’s probably not going to have a lot of people standing around a little tray eating snacks with toothpicks with him for very long. But if you do want to learn about the nature of cured meats in a way that is at least somewhat socially acceptable, consider the “Into the Meat Cave” webseries created by Bob Camp–co-creator of Ren & Stimpy–for meat purveyor Volpi.
That may not seem like an intuitive combination. Camp is weirdo of the animation world whose credits include co-creating Ren & Stimpy (although he was the Wozniak to John Kricfalusi’s Steve Jobs there), and work on Tiny Toon Adventures, Cow and Chicken, and Spongebob SquarePants, among others, while Volpi–er–sells meat. But it seems clear that Volpi went ahead and gave Camp free reign to indulge his weirder side in the three 2-minute-plus “Meat Cave” shorts. The series starts out with some pure weirdness, with a greasers-vs-soc’s showdown between smoked meats and their cured cousins–the lesson that there is a difference between the two gets lost in the adventures of the anthropomorphic sausages, but gets downright educational as it continues–explaining how mold affects the curing process, or going in-depth on the different kinds of cured meats and their countries of origin. That may not be information you were dying to learn, but when it comes from the oddball imagination of Bob Camp, it’s worth picking up anyway.DS