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May 10, 2011 03:19 PM

Charcuterie artisan on Main?

A friend mentioned he had heard of a possible former Oyama employee who has set up shop somewhere on Main making his own charcuterie.
Apparently it's only wholesale and he is set up behind some other shop - not a lot to go on but my curiosity is piqued..

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    1. re: Philx

      Thanks! That pretty well has to be the guy. I'd even heard he was related to the owner of Oyama and since he comes from 5 generations of charc. artisans it may well be.

      1. re: eatrustic

        I was told he is the brother of the Oyama owner. You can get most if not all of his products (retail) at Market Meats on 4th (
        I have tried few of the salumi/salami and found all but one to be just OK (flavors are one-dimensional/bland) and very pricey (~$30/lb.). But then again, IMHO all of the Oyama salumi is exactly like that....

        1. re: Pollo

          Please tell us where the good sh!t is! Don't hold out on us!!

          1. re: flowbee

            flowbee - I wish I could say that I was "holdng out"!

            I have tried many/most places that make salumi on the west coast of Canada/US and the only two places that have "unique" stuff are the following:
            Both unfortunately are in The Bay area but if you are in that part of the world I highly recommend that you visit them both....

            Actually, not too long ago Costco (in the US) had a super deal on D'Artagnan Boneless Jamon Serrano ($99/11 lb+ including shipping).

            1. re: Pollo

              What about Mario Batali's dad's place in Seattle ? Have you been there?
              I have not but heard it was good which I know is a realtive term.


              1. re: Philx

                I have to disagree with the comment that there is no good charc, in Vancouver. Perhaps it may not be to your taste but I know for a fact that we have made huge strides in the quality and quantity of purveyors in Vancouver.

                Sorry, but Oyama makes an excellent and world class product. I can walk into G.I. and pick up a beautifully cured piece of Guanciale from Oyama that serves as the basis for many fantastic soups and pastas. My only complaint about them is that he could cure some of his items a bit longer ( I just finish the process myself at home). Armando Batali makes some nice rustic stuff but I find him to be hit and miss.

                Bruce Aidells the author of the Complete Book of Pork was in town from San Francisco a while back and was in awe of what Oyama does. In his words there was nothing of that quality in San Fran.
                The name escapes me but there is also a very good charcuterie maker on E Hastings who sells to Les Amis among others.

                1. re: eatrustic

                  The place on Hastings is Moccia (formerly Italian Market).

                  I have been to Boccalone in SF. I think Oyama's product is better.

                  1. re: eatrustic

                    eatrustic - not to be argumentative but based on what I have tried over the years both in US/Canada and in Europe here is my 2 ยข:

                    Oyama has some good pates. Some of their "seasonal" product that I have tried is v. nice (i.e. dried/smoked blood sausages and horse meat - sort of like breasola). Their cured stuff (salumi) is nothing special and very similar to the D-original products. Prices are outrageous (IMHO) but if the clientele is willing to pay...why not. Oyama may be percieved as "world class" because of the prices but that's only because it's located in Vancouver.

                    Recently I tried several of the salumi that JN&Z started to produce and again not bad but very similar to the D-original/Oyama products (prices have also gone up).

                    Batali in Seattle makes similar product to what can be had at Oyama/D-original/JN&Z Deli. All these guys make products based on commercial formulations that the "big boys" use (i.e. Columbus Salame, Molinari, Freybe, etc.) and use more or less the same ingredients (i.e. spices, starter cultures, additives, etc.) which translated to similar end products.

                    In my book Fra'mani ( is one company in the US that is one step up over the forementioned makers. I tried many times the various salumi that Paul Bertolli used to make when he was at Oliveto in Berkeley and it was v. good stuff (all of it). He has since (5-6 years?) gone on his own and makes salumi on a more commercial scale. IMHO products are not as good as before but still much better that all the other commercially available salumi.

                    Next (IMHO), one step above Fra'mani are the two places I mentioned before (FattedCalf and Boccalone).

                    Next on my list "to try" is Olli Salumeria (

                    PS: All I can say about Bruce Aidells' comment is that either (1) he needs to get out more often or (2) he was beeing polite.

                    1. re: Pollo

                      I can't argue with you on Paul Bertolli he can do no wrong IMHO. The Aidells comment is from a couple of years ago when he was in town but he was most sincere. Things, I'm sure have changed in his neck of the woods since then.

                      Ha! At first I thought you were saying that you had written a book about Fra'Mani.

                      1. re: eatrustic

                        Not sure I undersand your comment about Bertolli?

                        1. re: Pollo

                          I've followed his career since Chez Panisse and his books and work have been inspiring.

                          1. re: eatrustic

                            Have you had his salumi/products?

                            1. re: Pollo

                              No, but I've heard great things about them.

                              1. re: eatrustic

                                If you are in Seattle try it...Whole Foods has almost all of his products. They also have products from La Quercia ( and are suposed to have products from OLLI Salumeria shortly.

      2. I haven't heard of that connection btwn D Original and Oyama (he used to work for some of the big cos. like Grimm's I think) -- here's a link to an article on Drews from last November:

        I like his chorizos a lot -- he does several. Wasn't so keen on his saucisson sec but I'm generally not a fan of that sausage. He's definitely passionate about his work, and his "lair" is worth a visit if you can wangle it. Once when I visited he gave me a taste of a sausage he was trying out with a secret ingredient :-). I often see him sipping a coffee at Kafka's, whose backdoor leads to his work space.