Sunday, February 6, 2011
I grew up on this sausage. It's a Portuguese smoked sausage with a garlicky flavor and a rough texture. I can't remember the brand we used then, but I'm pretty sure it was a regional specialty company brand. I grew up on the Central Coast of California, which is home to a highly concentrated Azorean Portuguese population, of which I am a member, 100% on my father's side and 25% on my mom's.
When I married my Navy man and moved away from California, this is something I definitely missed on the East Coast. The only concentration of Azoreans in the East is in Massachusetts, about eight hours north from where we were. Then we spent a few years in San Diego, where if there is any available, it was too difficult to find. But then we spent seven years in beautiful Hawaii, with a large Azorean population from way back, where linguica is widely available as Portuguese sausage. It is even sold at McDonald's!
Two years ago we moved back to the East Coast and again are missing our special sausage. My sister brought some when she came for Jim's retirement and we DEVOURED it. My kids have been asking for it ever since, and I've even been scouring the internet for online ordering sources. Then, by a fluke, I was looking in the sausage section at Harris Teeter's for something completely different, when I spotted a package of Gaspar's Portuguese Linguica. We were practically dancing in the aisle for joy!
Tonight we had linguica sandwiches - on rolls with sauteed peppers and onions and spicy mustard. Yummm! I can't wait to have it in the traditional ways - grilled and sliced at almost every barbecue as a appetizer, added to scrambled eggs, and in caldo verde or Portuguese bean soup.