The Fifth Quarter
Here in the East Bay, there has been a little buzz going on about the Fifth Quarter, a charcuterie started by the head butcher at Café Rouge in Berkeley. Heaven knows, I have enjoyed his output when I go to Café Rouge, so I was pretty sure I'd enjoy his work when we found it at the Kensington farmer's market last Sunday.
Scott Brennan was there himself selling his meaty marvels, so I took a few minutes to check out the goodies in his galvanized, ice-filled buckets. There were wonderful sausages (we bought lamb) and patés (we chose duck liver) and head cheese and liverwurst and blood sausages and jerky - well, I could go on and on! The long and short of it is that I spent 'way more money than I had intended and now I have a freezer full of wonderful meals ahead.
Yesterday, the sun came out in the afternoon, warming the air enough to sit out on the deck, so we made a platter of two kinds of cheese and the duck liver paté and headed outside to enjoy the fresh air. Our friends Annette and Dave are here staying with us, so we swapped stories while we whittled away on the snacks. Cora hovered.
The paté was simply lovely. It has a tad more texture than the ones I buy in the store and we liked that. The flavor was mild and rich, but not as unctuous as chicken liver patés - and that's a good thing. This was meaty and a little hearty, halfway between a paté de campagne and a smooth paté. It rapidly and completely disappeared, which says all you really need to know about it.
If you get a chance to visit the Kensington farmer's market, stop and introduce yourself to Scott. He's a nice guy, proud of his work, and well deserving of the buzz he has created.