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Apr 20th
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Bringing Home the Bacon

dining_hotplateOn our last visit to France my teenagers and I left familiar Paris to explore the country's interior. We quickly learned that lunch was served only at lunch time. Fortunately the café-bars offered baguettes spread with rillettes, a pâté of sorts. Traditionally, tough cuts of meat were tenderized by simmering in lard, after which they were pounded to a paste, loaded into ramekins and preserved with a topping of melted fat. Now they are typically made from various cuts of pork, although goose and fish find their way into these creamy hors d'oeuvres.

Chef Chris LaVeque brings such old world handcrafted charcuterie, made from pasture-raised animals, to Santa Cruz at el Salchichero. Charcuterie is an ancient craft creating all things pork, from butchering to finished products, including cooked and cured meats, fresh and smoked sausages, ham, and pâté.

The ever-smiling LaVeque however, sells more than pork. Last week, in addition to bacon and fresh sausages, thick New York Steaks awaited a hot grill, and whole rabbits were ready for the pressure cooker.

I spied half pound vacuum-sealed cubes of pork rillettes ($8) which included capers and candied kumquats; smooth yet toothsome and savory with bursts of citrus peel. I snapped up the last chub of pâté Campagnola ('rustic' in Italian). The pork and liver were chopped rather than puréed as is apropos for a country pâté. Its aroma was enticing with the addition of apple brandy, organic spices, fresh onions and garlic.

Also available were smoked beer sausages ($12.95/lb.) with natural casings. The all-beef Kielbasa was finely textured with a smoky flavor that rivals any hot dog on the fourth of July.

With the store in full swing, el Salchichero has returned to Live Oak, Scotts Valley and downtown farmers markets. Find weekly product availability on the company's website. | KP


El Salchichero, 402 Ingalls St. Santa Cruz, 423-6328. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Elsalchichero.com.

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Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

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Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
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