Did someone know about this, and not tell me?
I went to Market Hall today because I failed to find pancetta at the Oakland Whole Foods yesterday (which, first of all - what? I mean, they had some sliced packaged stuff they were calling pancetta, but no real pancetta). While I was waiting for my number to be called, I spotted - it an unassuming, creamy white block with specks of herbs on it. Lardo!
I ordered 2 oz, sliced paper thin, and tore into the package like a kid on Christmas morning as soon as I got home. I've had lardo at a few restaurants (on crostoni at Delfina, which I remember being rosemary-heavy; melted, on pizza at Dopo, just the slightest whisper of pig, but also, strangely, a flavor reminiscent of chicken broth; in a couple of restaurants outside the Bay Area as well, some of them tainted by oxidation), but this lardo is in a different class. What sets it apart is the remarkable sweetness - it's like eating bacon buttercream. I nearly fell over, delirious from the deliciousness. Then I had three more slices (the last one on toast). Now I feel a little ill, and will probably have beans and kale for dinner to make up for today's dietary indiscretion. Whatever, it was totally worth it. Tomorrow I may have to make lardo pizza.
(If someone finds out that all the Bay Area restaurants actually get their lardo from Boccalone, I'll be embarrassed... but there's no question in my mind that what I just ate 5 minutes ago was way better than what I've had at the restaurants.)