Saturday, October 4, 2008

For all you Muffaletta Freaks—

At the Ferry Building my heart jumped a bit when I saw the big red sign for Boccalone—Chef Chris Cosentino's foray into the Salumeria arts. But, my heart actually started racing when I read the word "MUFFALETTA" under the words "HOT PANINO." (So much for my three mile run and healthy lunch!) The last muffalettas to enter my system had been in New Orleans this past April (served warm and cold), so I had high expectations. I get mad muffaletta cravings, too. I even lodged a grievance at Bi-Rite when they took their cold muffaletta off the deli menu.

For a hot, pressed version, Boccalone's done good. And, I'm kindof a freak about Italian meats. (having spent formative years in an Italian 'hood in Long Island). Boccalone's muffaletta meat was sliced pretty thin, almost shaved, and the three or four minutes under the hot press really brought out the flavour...and the tenderness. The mortadella (with bright green pistachios) was my favorite. Melt in your mouth. And, the Boccalone salame while not my favorite local salami cold was delectable warmed. Oiliness was a slight issue, but the bread wasn't soggy or unpleasant. Not sure what kind of cheese they put in there and another tablespoon of house-made (from house-cured) olive spread (or more piquant spread? what else is in the mix?) would 've given it that Deep South kick. Overall, Boccalone's warm, cured meat is the star. I will return...

I've written a "Ferry Plaza Frugal" list on Yelp.com, but at $8 a pop for a 6-7 inch sub (they don't use a round loaf—wtf?—Neither did Bi-rite or Cafe Amelie) this doesn't make the cut.

Perhaps, I should make another list... Ferry Plaza Treats... or FP Good Eats... or just plain Eat-here-even-if-high-food-costs-suck... Alas, we pay the price for our passions...

Should we make our own muffalettas?
A generous slick of aged olive spread spiked with vinegary red peppers, melt in your mouth meats cut thin and piled tall and a few earthy slices of provolone inside a semi-soft, slightly sweet large round muffaletta loaf.

Do you have a muffaletta story?
Tell me.

Eat well~

Spice-E

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