Something Old is New Again. Proper Sausages.
When I was in college in the Boston area, and for years after that, there was a uniquely charming feature of the North End. This had been for years, and largely still is, the Italian section. When I worked in the local clinic, I took Italian lessons at night school, because some of the North End residents, who had lived there for decades, did not speak English. The North End, like few neighborhoods in this country any more, had various shops that sold only produce, or meat, or baked goods, or deli offerings. The meat markets–old time butcher shops–had poultry and rabbits dressed and hanging in the windows, and trays of the various meats. These were not pre-weighed, wrapped, and priced, like they are in Publix. You saw what you wanted and negotiated to get the right piece or amount. And the floors had sawdust on them. Probably none of this meets hygiene codes for food handlers now, but that’s how it was then and there. It was a distinctly European model.
You rarely see butcher shops any more. Part of the reason is that so many fewer people eat meat, or at least not as much as Americans used to. And so many fewer establishments of many kinds specialize. The closest we come now is farmers’ market stores, which have actually made a kind of resurgence, with the focus on produce and organics. Laurenzo’s has a produce store. Aaron’s produce is about two blocks away. And there are the CSA’s, one of which is distributed by a BP resident on 118th Street, and another of which operates in Little Haiti. Also, there are several pop-up farmers’ markets around. One of them happens on Thursdays in front of MOCA. It started as a very well-represented bazaar, but it has dwindled, mainly through lack of enthusiasm of the possible clientele. It was at that market that I met Freddy and Danielle Kaufmann, the owners of Proper Sausages. Do you want to guess what they sell?