Boccalone is an Italian salumeria, and it’s fantastic. Everybody who has tried it worships the pancetta piana. It’s dry-cured pork belly, and it tastes like a cross between pancetta and prosciutto, explains Ruth Lafler. It’s the most delectable pancetta Gio has ever tasted. “It is gorgeous raw,” says lexdevil. “Almost crazy to cook it, but I did crisp some up when I first received some in my box and it was mind bending. They’ll tell you it’s wasteful (due to shrinkage) and unnecessary (because it’s great raw), but if you cook it (carefully so it doesn’t evaporate like foie gras) to a crisp it’s like eating salty pig candy.”

Boccalone also sells Carrie 218’s benchmark mortadella. Try it fried, on Artisan bread, for a mind-blowing pimped-out version of a fried bologna sandwich, says lexdevil.

What we have here in Oakland is basically the Boccalone factory; they actually distribute across the United States. You can go in and just buy the stuff from the factory during particular pickup times. The secret, though, is that local salumi-lovers can subscribe to the Boccalone box and get regular samplers of products. The last box had suckling pig ham (very mild and tender), orange-fennel salami, and some of that pancetta piana. You have to pick it up from the factory, but subscribers can also buy anything Boccalone sells at discount prices.

Boccalone [East Bay]
1924 International Boulevard, Oakland

Board Link: Boccalone pancetta piana

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