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Jan 23, 2010 09:56 AM

Aidells sausage at Ferry Plaza farmers mkt?

In this week's media kerfuffle about Aidells contract ending at Ferry Plaza, I learned that sausages sold only at this mkt were available. Has anyone tried them to comment? We hear very little about this producer here since the buyout. And i'd love to hear about the sausage-garbed protestors today.

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  1. Just went there today. Asked to try something unique to that stand and got the Burmese Curry. While the flavor itself was delicious, I'm not sure if I'd get it again because of how it combined with the meat itself.

    There were about two or three other ones that were also unique to the market, forget what they were.

    Love the use of "kerfuffle"

    1. I used to get their Spicy Bier on sourdough roll as my hot dog substitute for ballgames. Alas, no more.

      The Spicy Bier is one of the ones you can only get at the Farmers market. It is a snappy, juicy sausage with a chunky interior of pork and beef and (my favorite part) whole mustard seeds. Whiskey fennel is another one, which I remember as being a milder sausage but I don't get that often enough to have an opinion.

      They sell the Bier at the stand for take home grilling in packs of 14. The guy did offer to split a bag into a smaller quantity if you need a smaller amount.

      1. We didn't make it to the market today, but hearing that Aidells is being shut out was quite upsetting. There are many other booths that could easily go (not naming names but the grotesquely overpriced smoked fish place that caters mainly to out of town uninformed tourists would be one). If the organizers would have done something to keep Mrs Hoffman going -- or at least find someone who sells decent poultry at reasonable prices -- I would be more sympathetic. It's still a great market, but less and less so, it seems. I look forward to hearing what they are planning to bring in that's new. Grumble.

        1. I talked to them today and asked why they cared if CUESA kicked them out, as they are such a big company and it can't be the money. They said it was tradition. They have been there for seventeen years, since the beginning of the company. It is a special relationship, and they sell flavors there that are only sold at Farmer's Markets and on-line, but not at any supermarkets. Plus, they say they have many loyal customers who are outraged by this example of San Francisco Foodie Political Correctness. They had demonstration signs and set up a demonstration to get folks to call the executive director of CUESA to complain. I took a picture of the sausage-man which I've attached.

          Across the street there we about 1,000 Christians demonstrating against abortion. It was quite a morning.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Paul H

            What I don't get is why CUESA feels they're at capacity. Sure, there are tons of stalls already at the Saturday market, but there seems to be a few places where they could add another stall in addition to Aidell's, rather than replacing it

            1. re: Paul H

              Learning from this thread that Aidell's at the market had sausages (e.g. bierwurst) that don't appear in the supermarkets finally explains to me why their sausages always seemed better at the Farmer's Market.

              Following is a message I sent to -- wonder if protests will make a difference:

              "Hey, you are being ridiculous to terminate Aidell's. They have been a special market fixture for years. I could give you many other candidates for termination -- places that are clearly there only to sell to tourists (who jam up the place) with products like (grossly overpriced) smoked fish and jams that can be carried on a plane. Those places are not what the market should be about. Aidell's is.

              Instead of spending your energy terminating a fixture, why don't you try to find a real replacement for Mrs. Hoffmann -- or find a way to bring her and her poultry back. At this time there is no decent poultry at reasonable prices.

              Please change your decision. If you don't I will start to believe the Slow Food guy was right..."

              1. re: Thomas Nash

                You make some good points, and Jonathan Kauffman (recently returned to the Bay Area) shares some of them.


                Was there this much controversy when Niman Ranch left the market?

                With the long debate in the town of Sonoma about the fate of its farmers market, I have to say I'm happy to see so many people who are this passionate about their local market and communities. No matter which stance they take.

                Any other sausages I should be trying from Aidells before it exits? I haven't bought anything from them for years.

              2. re: Paul H

                Thanks for the photo of sausage-man. I'm sure it's a financial blow to the sales contractor and people who work the booth, but I wonder why after so many years Aidells didn't set up another retail outlet for sausages not in regular supermarket distribution.

                This seems to be the criteria for sellers, and it says there are no slots currently available.