We haven’t been here in awhile. Have you missed us?
Believe me, folks, we didn’t forget about you. In fact, for nearly a week, we were eating some of the best pork dishes of our lives, in the Bay Area. Prosciutto and lonzo. Braised pork shoulder and pork sliders. Jamon iberico and bacon peanut brittle. Smoked whiskey fennel sausage and carnitas.
After this whirlwind, delicious visit, we can say one thing with certainty: people of San Francisco, you sure do love your pig.
(the top photograph is of the pig decorating the wall above the door into the kitchen at Fatted Calf, in Napa. We’ll be telling you about that place soon.)
These curls of pink were some of our favorite bites of the entire trip. Jamon Iberico (aged 36 months) — dry with a depth of taste I cannot replicate in words — and American prosciutto — buttery and soft on the tongue — from La Quercia, the only American company making artisan prosciutto as good as anything emerging from Parma. (Even better? They’re based in Iowa.)
We were served this incredible plate of tastes at Contigo, one of the best new restaurants we have ever eaten in. We can’t wait to tell you more about Contigo, too.
This marvelous sight is one of the many salumi cases at Boccalone. This is such a tiny shop, tucked into the Ferry Building Marketplace, that you might miss it on your way to Frog Hollow Farm or Blue Bottle coffee.
Don’t miss it. Otherwise, you’d be missing the salumi cone, the lard-fried potato chips, and the Nudja. And that would just be sad.
How could we not love a business with the slogan “Tasty Salted Pig Parts”?
If you go to Boccalone, you could lunch on any handful of sandwiches. Or, why not pick up some salumi to go and amble down to Mijita instead?
This little Mexican cocina-type restaurant is owned by Traci des Jardins, who is one of the most respected chefs in San Francisco, as well as the consulting chef at Mijita. Here, she offers casual food, from different regions of Mexico, with extraordinary flavors.
And these carnitas tacos. You know you want one.
And when you go to Humphry Slocombe, and stand amazed in front of the display case when you see that they have prosciutto ice cream (so much better than it might even sound!), you might take a moment to look down and see they have bacon peanut brittle, as well.
At least, we did.
Oh, and we did attend this conference.
The first BlogHer Food conference was a smashing success (well, except for the food). Hundreds of food bloggers from across the nation gathered together to listen to talks about food photography from some of the best photographers in the nation, discussed how to change the world through food blogs, and pondered the meaning of identity in this increasingly crowded field of food blogs.
Also, there was plenty of squealing, as women and men who have been reading each other’s stories for years finally met in the flesh. Let’s be honest, it was a lovefest. A crowded, hectic, wonderful lovefest.
We were so happy to be there.
(And in the interest of full disclosure, you should know that the Pork Board sponsored us to attend the conference and eat great pork dishes around San Francisco. We were so happy to represent this website, and to meet Caroline and Adam from WeberShandwick and Cathy Lee from the Pork Board. Those were some incredible conversations.)
Attending this conference was one of the biggest highlights of our time in San Francisco.
But perhaps the most memorable moments came at one of the better restaurants in the country, where we took our toddler daughter for lunch, along with two dear friends. And I ate one of the best sausages I have ever tasted.
You’ll have to wait to hear more about that. Come on back in these next few weeks. We’ll be sharing.