Many a hound worships at the temple of Taylor and Topiana every Saturday. But I know I'm not the only one left scratching my head when looking at their menu. As I am not fluent in French, Italian and Spanish my order often amounts to guesswork and I don't know what I'm getting until I show up at the market. So I thought it might be nice to devote a thread to the best (and worst) of the Bay Area's favorite charcut stand. I'll do my best to estimate prices based on memory, but don't quote me on them.
Ciccioli - I ordered this on a whim a couple of weeks ago and it blew me away. The minced pork in a jar is lighter and smoother than pate, with an almost creamy texture remeniscent of tuna (!?). The flavor is incredible - mellow and subtle with the occasional kick of spice. Mrs Mousse and I sat there eating it with our jaws dropped and almost finished the whole thing in one sitting. Very highly recommended. Available in 8 ounce jars, about $10 per jar.
Bacon - What can I say about Fatted Calf's bacon that hasn't been said already? It's perfect. It will teach you to love bacon all over again. It's the one item I order from them every single week. I find myself wanting to incorporate it into every dish I eat. Very highly recommended. Price is about $10 per pound, available in one pound bags (you can get smaller bags if you preorder).
Mortadella - This salami is perfect for potlucks; just get a few because they'll go fast. Smaller in diameter than traditional mortadella it's sized so that two people could reasonably eat it in a week (as are all FC salamis). Moist and flavorful with the satisfying crunch of roasted pistachios. Each salami weighs about a pound and goes for about $10. Highly Recommended
Devil's Gulch Rabbit Pate - My favorite of the Fatted Calf pates, it's a bit lighter than the pork but more satisfying than the guinea hen. It makes the perfect appetizer with an Acme loaf and a pad of Lurpak butter. I could eat this stuff all day. Cost is $14-$15 per pound, available in half pound slabs (or smaller if you preorder). Highly Recommended.
Morrel Mushroom Sausages - Fatted Calf's sausages are all good but these left me dumbfounded. Only available for a brief span each year, the pork links are infused with generous chunks of mushroomy goodness. I can't recall the price, but they were worth it. Very Highly Recommended.
Fegatelli and Petit Sec - These mini salamis make the perfect snack so I love to keep a few around the house. Kind of like a gourmet slim jim, they are extremely fun to bite into. The Fegatelli is spicy whereas the Petit Sec is herby - buy them both and decide which one you prefer. At $2.50 a piece (5 for $10) they're a great way to sample Fatted Calf without spending a fortune. Highly Recommended.
Beef Jerky - It made a nice snack and I like that it keeps well but it just didn't satisfy me the way their other products do. The texture was too tough (I know it's jerky, but I've had good jerky that wasn't so tough) and the flavor had too much going on at once. I might pick some up before a camping trp, but at $24 per pound I probably wont buy it again. Not Recommended.
Quail Stuffed With Sausage - I was shocked, shocked, by how disappointing this was. There was WAY too much sausage, the bird was practically bursting with it. Now, I love sausage but when I'm grilling stuffed quail I want to taste the quail, and all I could taste was the fat porcini sausage. At $9 a piece I'd rather go get the stuffed quails at Gregoire. Not Recommended.
Harissa Marinated Lamb Brochettes - Although the price was right ($3 a piece) this lamb on a stick just didn't do it for me. The meat was too tough and the harissa marinade was so spicey that I couldn't enjoy the flavor of the lamb. I'd just as soon grill up some lamb chops. Not Recommended.
Well, those are just a few of my thoughts on recent purchases. Please share your own experiences. With our new bumping technology I hope to keep this as an active thread and useful reference point.
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