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The Problem with Boccalone


Restaurants & Bars San Francisco Bay Area

The Problem with Boccalone

poulet_roti | | Jul 29, 2008 09:38 PM

I suspect this is sure to raise some strong opinions, but I have tried to like much of their product only to be consistenty underwhelmed or disappointed. Finally, I assume that either I am not getting it or the product is over-hype and over-rated but obviously, well-marketed.

After trying many of the various salumi, I have not found any that would make me purchase it again. Only today did I purchase some of the coppa di testa which I found to be unusual and superior to much of the other competitive product out there.

Perhaps most discouraging were the fresh sausage that I purchased at the Boccalone store at the Ferry Building. I purchased one package of the traditional Italian sausage and one package of the spicy Italian sausage. The Italian sausage had a flavor suggesting the inclusion of cinnamon, mace, allspice, or nutmeg. The strength of this flavor created an overly sweet flavor which diminished from pork flavor of the sausage. Perhaps this is stylistic but certainly like no other Italian sausage I would consider to be superior. It had that "one or three ingredients too many" characteristic.

Even worse yet was the spicy Italian sausage which had a real strong funk flavor - almost an artificial flavor or quality. Needless to say, I would not purchase either of these again, especially at a price of $8 for 12 ounces of sausage.

By comparison, I frequently purchase fresh sausage at Little City in North Beach and find the sausage to be superior in terms of taste, texture and performance. In fact, I would probably consider New York Style, while seemingly pedestrian in nature, to be superior to Boccalone. I recognize that Boccalone probably uses superior hogs, probably utilizes more humanely raised hogs, but that should not translate to inferior preparation.

Perhaps I am missing something as Boccalone seems to be well-liked and well-marketed, but in terms of product, it seems like has a long way to go to achieve the stature that many have associated with the product.

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