Summer, with its weekends of barbecues and picnics, turn a chowhound’s fancy to sausages, and two artisan producers are currently garnering raves.
Fatted Calf makes a mean mortadella–pork sausage with lard, spices, and pistachios. Sliced and grilled, it achieves a loose, creamy, and soft texture when hot, says Melanie Wong. Heating does similar wonders for their pork rillettes (which can be underspiced and overly creamy eaten unheated). Fatted Calf sells at the Berkeley and San Francisco Ferry Plaza farmers’ markets.
Fra’Mani is the new sausage/salami company started by Paul Bertolli, ex-head chef of Oliveto. The factory is located in Berkeley with a retail storefront due to open soon. For now, products are available at gourmet groceries around the Bay. Fans of Fatted Calf should definitely check them out, says Morton the Mousse. They do Italian sausages in two varieties: Classic and Spicy. Both taste strongly of fennel (and could be juicier, says Alexandra Eisler), and come in a 12-oz package (3 links connected with twine and garnished with a bay leaf) for around $6-8. They’ve been spotted at Colusa Market, the Pasta Shop, Golden Produce, and elsewhere around the Bay.
Orders only, no retail: 510-301-9279
Orders only, no retail: 510-526-7000
Colusa Market [East Bay]
406 Colusa Ave., Kensington
Pasta Shop [Rockridge]
5655 College Ave., Oakland
Pasta Shop [East Bay]
1786 4th St., Berkeley
Golden Produce [Noe Valley]
172 Church St., San Francisco