We carnivores who live in the Bay Area are a privileged bunch — on any given day, we can choose to eat Fatted Calf’s bacon, Fra Mani’s salami, 4505’s chicharrones and countless other artisan charcuterie around the city. To that list, I would add Boccalone’s pork ragu. It’s a lucious ragu that is intensely spiced and just perfect when tossed with pappardelle. Until a couple weeks ago, my main interface with Boccalone was to buy the ragu, or to pick up a sandwich or two for a picnic.
Boccalone is a store that is located in the Ferry Building, and is the brainchild of Incanto chef Chris Cosentino and his business partner Mark Pastore. It has been open less than a year, and attracts great attention in the Ferry Building with its pristine meat slicers and case of hanging meats. In addition to their delectable porcine products, Boccalone also offers sparkling water (like what is offered at Incanto) — I love filling up my bottle on farmers market days before I battle the crowds.
I’ve been spending more time at Boccalone these days, however, and it’s all the fault of a delicious new product called Nduja. Let’s all say it together, class: en-doo-ya. Can’t remember how to pronounce it? Ask for the “N-Judah,” like I do, and you will get a smile and the lovely Boccalone staff will hand over the $11 salami-shaped package. Nduja is a Calabrian spreadable salami that is spicy and full of flavor. I love bringing it to room temperature and eating it on fresh bread. Once it’s at room temperature, it spreads just like butter and is has a great mouthfeel. Nduja roots come from the French andouille sausage and the flavor profile is not unlike the andouille in smokiness and layers of flavor. Friends have been tweeting about mixing a dollop of it in omelettes.
Because this is such a new and unusual product, the folks at Boccalone tend to have some out on sample — I would suggest that you try it next time you’re at the Ferry Building.
Photo Credit: Bunrab.