Not Fatted Calf. No, this is the real, historical inspiration for contemporary charcutiers like Fatted Calf, Incanto, Perbacco, Fra' Mani, and the like.
This is basic Polish meat doin's.
It's a place called Seakor, out in San Francisco's Richmond district. Out where the Russian bakeries nestle side-by-side with Thai restaurants. Indian steam-table lunch joints rub elbows with Irish pubs. A very, very, veritable melting pot. Chinese dim sum. Korean hot pots. Even an anachronistic Mexican place with killer margaritas.
Dang, I oughta wander around there more often.
Fortunately, Cranky had business in the neighborhood, and he had previously spotted this Polish place. This time he went in and bought a couple of double-smoked kielbasas and a huge, quivering tube of head cheese.
No, I don't know where they get the meat from. I'm guessing just industrial farm butchery. We winced, and gave it a try.
So, let me say the kielbasa is very nice. Smoky, but not overly so. A nice, tight texture from the extra drying. Chewy.
And the head cheese. My first taste of this ancient preparation that uses every available part of the pig. I have no idea what those bits are that look like sliced giblets. They tasted fine; a little bland but mustard to the rescue. The gelatin is very thick and — well, kinda fun to eat.
Oh, but the look of the thing. A little round aquarium of densely packed pork shrimp.
Swim! Swim for your lives, little creatures!