First time ever I

had Italian sausage, it was at the seminary and I was 14 years old. It was a Sunday afternoon festival, I am sure it coincided with some Italian saint festival, St Lawrence or St Frank Sinatra. They were grilled, served on rolls piled with giardiniera something I had also never experienced. The sausages came from Groppi’s which was/is just a few blocks from DeSales, the seminary from which I would depart in just a few short months, and Father Groppi was still a priest in good standing. 

At Catholic Memorial, next on my high school agenda, had Italian sausages as a regular lunch item. Once a week or so. They too were exquisite. These were completely different but delicious in every way. It seems to me that they were simply simmered in tomato sauce for hours. While I mostly brought my lunch owing to budget constraints, I could finagle money from my father from time to time and have a sausage. He liked them too. 

As an adult I live in on the east side not 3 blocks from Glorioso. So that’s my go-to sausage. I think of them as the gold standard of Italian sausage but really, it’s pretty much all I know. 

Last week I had occasion to pass Groppi’s on the way home from my physical therapist, so I stopped and bought a couple to grill, easy meal. Oh my god. They were the same ones I’d had in the seminary. Very different from Glorioso. Now, I just have to attempt to replicate the giardiniera, and then the ones we had at Catholic Memorial. I will have completed my Italian Sausage Journey.

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