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Jul 4, 2006 03:25 PM

Fra'Mani at Colusa Market (Kensington)


My local, the Colusa Market just brought in 2 varieties of Fra'Mani sausage: Classic Italian and Spicy Italian, both $5.99. I was planning on firing them up for breakfast, but the cooking tips on the back of the package recommend grilling over coals, so we'll have them tonight. Update to folllow...

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  1. That's an excellent price. The Pasta Shop charges $7.95 per pound for the loose ones (or $7.95 for 12 oz in the Fra'Mani packaging.) Did you get yours loose or was it $5.99 for the 12 oz pack?

    1. Thanks here as well.

      I just LOVE Colusa Market and just started going there regularily. It sounds like you shop there.

      Any hints?

      Do you know who makes that fresh mozzarella? Have you tried the rotissarie chicken or ribs?

      2 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        I'm there at least 3 times/week!

        No idea who makes the cheese, haven't tried the ribs, but love the chicken when I absolutely need to get dinner on the table fast. Mr. Joh is very receptive to new ideas (like Fra Mani) but if something doesn't sell (did you get to try The Bacon?), he won't order it a second time.

        His pricing is very competitive on just about everything there. Mr. Joh stocks a wide variety of natural and organic products, and actually PASSES ON the distributor discounts to his customers instead of pocketing it. (cough*WFM*cough) He hand selects the fruit and veg himself at the Oakland Terminal, so items like avocadoes, cherries, peaches, plums, and berries are particularly good.

        Look for deals on meat-there's always something marked down-last week it was rib eye. Great cheese selection (I think he uses Cheeseworks), great tea selection, fantastic, well priced wines. Lots of super premium ice cream choices: Strauss, Ben and Jerry's, a new brand in a can whose name I can't remember. Geez, that's a glowing report if I've ever seen one; I've been shopping here for 10+ years and just love having such a great resource within walking distance.

        1. re: Alexandra Eisler

          Sheer Bliss is the ice cream in the can.

          The pomegranite ... not vanilla with pomegranite swirl ... is AMAZING. The rest of the flavors have had problems as noted in the link above. Haven't tried it yet, but I heard the chocolate covered pomegranite ice cream bar is very good.

          Thank you so much for your tips about Colusa market since I'm new to it. Interesting that he takes such care with the produce ... it shows. It may not have the selection of Berkeley Bowl, but what is there is well-chosen.

          Well, I'll have to trot over there and get some of these sausages to encourage Mr. Joh to keep that brand.

      2. OK, so what is Fra'Mani? Has something tasty slipped by my food radar? Sausages and stuff? Big fan of the Fatted Calf.

        1 Reply
        1. re: andrewt

          Fra'Mani is the new sausage/salami company started by Paul Bertolli, ex-head chef of Oliveto. The salami factory is located in Berkeley with a retail store front to follow soon. For now, the products are available at gourmet groceries around the bay. If you're a big fan of Fatted Calf you should definitely check them out.

        2. First things first: the sausages were 3 to a package, so roughly $2/sausage. They are smaller than Aidell's/Niman Ranch, still linked together with twine, and come with a pretty bay leaf as decoration.

          We followed the cooking tips on the packagae and grilled them over "medium embers" for the appointed amount of time. We all preferred the Spicy Italian to the Classic Italian; both had a pronounced flavor of fennel, which is how I like it. But they were a bit on the tough side, which surprised me, and not as juicy as I had hoped. I wasn't blown away and wonder if my expectations were too high? I was hoping to find a local replacement to satisfy my Ginger Pig jones...

          1. ***UPDATED OPINION***

            I brought a pack of Spicy Italian to the beach Saturday and my personal grill master is convinced he overcooked them on 4th of July. This time, we used skewers with rotating handles and kept the sausages turning the whole time they were over the coals, allowing them to self-baste in all their juicy glory. Wow, what a difference! Moist without being fatty, toothsome without being tough, and dynamite explosion of flavor and heat. I'm very happy we tried them again.