Over a year ago I stopped posting the weekly Fatted Calf Newsletter. If you ain’t hip to their newsletter, it’s a weekly note to let everyone know what’s going on in their world and the upcoming menu for the Berkeley & Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Markets. It was something I did out of inspiration, love and devotion. But it was time to move on, times change. The only thing that didn’t change is their love & devotion for all things meat.
If you’ve been lucky enough to sample any of their meaty gifts, you know of what I speak. I fondly remember showing up each Saturday in Berkeley to see what was new, rely on what’s a family standard and to enjoy the market in general. Nearly each week Taylor and/or Toponia had cooked up something special for all, like a kid in a candy store I was! I thought I’d seen just about everything they had to offer over the years. And speaking of years, I triple dog dare you to use the search function here at Meathenge and type in newsletter. There’s about 4.5 years worth of posts, pretty crazy.
Earlier this year Fatted Calf opened up their new shop at the new Oxbow Market in Napa. I’ve been more than a few times and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Again, I thought I’d seen it all.
Jlee and I sped up early this last Saturday morning for another visit and to check out a small gun shop, just for fun. I found a cool wrist-rocket I knew the boys would enjoy, but guess what I found at the fancy charcuterie masters shop? That’s right, hands down the most badass salumi sammich of all time! Nabbed that one big time! I don’t know how many different kinds of hand-made pieces of meat were in there, but it was tremendous. The depth of flavor all delivered with a fresh made tapanade with a little more extra virgin all nestled in a wonderfully toothsome sammich roll. Luckily, Toponia was there and we got to hang out a bit and talk about stuff. The weather was cool, overcast with a chance of rain. Her eyes lit up and she reached behind the counter and produced a gratin! A hot, beautiful, steaming gratin that is! As with many items they have for sale, tasting each thing is a huge part of the experience. Floopf the spoon heavily laden with gratin went in to my mowf (I still have the spoon in my pocket, use it for flinging coffee beans at employees). A rich blend of delicious, gooey cheese, finished with some bright tangy version to finish. There’s pasta in there! There’s onions in there! “I’ll take 1 pound please.”
These are two things you cannot get at the markets, you have to visit their locale in Napa. You’ll probably have to drive, but go. Now. It’s worth it, every minute you spend behind the wheel embiggening your carbon footprint is worth it. I have no idea what it cost me, I don’t care. I’m going again and again.
ps – Check out the pork belly roulade, the gratin and the sandwiches there, see?