You can take the boy out of Bensonhurst, but you can’t take the Bensonhurst out of the boy.
In his artisanal charcuterie company Brooklyn Cured, Scott Bridi draws inspiration for his sausage and paté from the food he grew up with.
“My family and I would go to the awesome pork stores and groceries around the neighborhood for sausage and other types of cured meats,” said Bridi, who now lives in South Slope, but fondly recalls his favorites, including Bari Pork Store on 18th Avenue. “I grew up with real appreciation for butchering and curing meats.”
Still, Bridi likes to break with tradition a bit, giving his Brooklyn Cured sausage a more complex flavor profile with fennel, chili, garlic and white wine.
“I wanted to make it more balanced than other hot Italian sausages by giving it tangy and acidic flavors,” he said.
Bridi isn’t afraid to tackle classic French charcuterie, either, churning out rilletes and rich, sweet patés made with orange zest and port wine.
Bridi got schooled in the art of butchering and charcuterie at Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern in that other borough. But he soon returned to his Brooklyn roots, running the charcuterie program at hipster meat shop Marlow and Daughters in Williamsburg.
After a few years, Bridi felt confident enough to start his own business and officially launched Brooklyn Cured in September. It’s still a one-man operation — from grinding to hawking to packaging.
His line of terrines and sausages are a big hit at 61 Local in Cobble Hill.
“The country pate is definitely a favorite with our customers,” said manager Hillary Bailey. “The spices in it really set it apart from other pates and make it more accessible to people who don’t normally eat pate.”
You too could be curing meat like Bridi in no time, as in his spare time, the butcher teaches classes for foodies looking to get their chops in charcuterie. His next course is sausage-making on Feb. 22 at the Pinkerton Wine Bar in Williamsburg, and Bridi gave us an early tip.
“For pork sausage, you should use meat with about 25 percent fat,” Bridi said. “If you don’t have enough, the sausage will have a grainy texture. If you have too much, the sausage will be too greasy.”
And that’s certainly not how they do it in Bensonhurst.
Brooklyn Cured products can be bought at the Brooklyn Flea [1 Hanson Pl. at Flatbush Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 230-0400], Saturdays from 10 am-6 pm; Foodshed Market (388 Atlantic Ave. between Hoyt and Bond streets in Downtown, no phone), Sundays from 11 am-5 pm; The Greene Grape [753 Fulton St. at S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 233-2700]; Brooklyn Victory Garden [920 Fulton St. between Washington Avenue and St. James Place in Clinton Hill, (718) 398-9100]; Blue Apron Fine Foods [814 Union St. between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Park Slope, (718) 230-3180]; and by home delivery. For info, visit www.brooklyncured.com.