Heads Up: Bavarian Meats Welcomes Andrew Zimmern

American family business you say? Well, for some folks that conjures up iconic imagery. For others, it conjures up that imagery and a whole lot more. Family dynamics. Long hours. Short vacations. Good years. And, not so good years.

You see, here at Bavarian Meats, we’ve been a family business ever since Grandpa Max opened shop in the Pike Place Market in 1961. And, yep, you better believe this family business has seen it all in our fifty-six years. We are still at the same location in the Market and are now a third-generation gig, being run by my identical sister and me. We have 28 employees, an authentic German deli, and we make more than fifty wholesale products in our small warehouse weekly.

To put it simply, we are jacks of all trades and never quite know what’s gonna be tossed our way. It’s like a reality show 24/7. Just when we think we can tackle something in one sitting or finally launch that new product, a pipe springs a leak in the warehouse or someone is stuck in traffic and late for work. And, when it comes to managing the fourth-generation leaders at Bavarian Meats…now teenagers…well, we won’t even go there.

That being said there are good days and deliciously great days. In early September, we had a great day.

Andrew Zimmern of “Bizarre Foods” was in Seattle. He was scouting around for his new show, “The Zimmern List,” which will launch this fall. We had heard he might stop in but nothing was definite. Then around 1:30, he walked into our little deli with his crew and a sincere curiosity.
Like any other day, we had all arrived for work prepared to crank out the wieners, the brats, the bacon and the hot lunches. Only this day was different because our brand new spicy head cheese took center stage while we stood on the sidelines. The limelight was on the legacy and not the drudgery.

Sitting on a stool overlooking the parade of people outside, Zimmern sampled our classic blood and tongue and our recently introduced spicy head cheese, which is a twist on our Old World classic. Photos were shot. Energy flowed.

We are pretty sure we’ve made the cut, but for us that isn’t the meat of the story. The real story here is that Andrew and his crew are exploring small unique places like ours. They are investing time and energy into celebrating those foods made with heart, hand, head and a hell of a lot of grit.

Before Andrew left, he looked at me and simply said, “Thanks for keeping a place like this going for so long. “

At that moment, Grandpa Max roared.


Andrew Zimmern with the crew at Bavarian Meats in the Pike Place Market, Seattle, September 6, 2017

Andrew Zimmern at Bavarian Meats in the Pike Place Market, September 6, 2017

Andrew Zimmern and crew scouting for his new show, “The Zimmern List”, September 6, 2017

Andrew Zimmern and crew at Bavarian Meats in the Pike Place Market, Seattle 6, 2017

Bavarian Meats Ham: Hoggin’ the Sweet Spot

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We’ve been hamming it up down here on Western. Our classic bone in baking hams have long had a faithful following–generations of Seattleites have grown up on this seasonal holiday specialty.

So, in order to bring that flavor profile to the table year round, we’ve been giving some love to our classic boneless ham, which we’ve now affectionately dubbed, “The Sweetheart Ham.”  A longtime favorite enjoyed in sandwiches and casseroles, this ham has had a minor makeover and now has the same flavor profile as our holiday ham.

Averaging about 2.5 to 3 pounds each, these netted boneless hams are made with pork from Oregon’s acclaimed Carlton Farms and are great for small families and households. Made from the pork knuckle and carefully deboned by our skillful butchers in house, these hams have more fat and bigger flavor. Soaked in a cover brine for a few days, netted and lightly smoked with alder they are an artisan meat suitable for everything from a hefty Dagwood-inspired hero to a classic casserole and swoon-worthy Eggs Benedict.

Still made in small batches of only fifty pounds per week and selling for about $9.95 per pound, the hams are sold unsliced and can be found in our deli at the Pike Place Market, on sandwiches at Delicatus in the Pioneer Square and, starting in mid-November, at Haggen Supermarkets throughout the Puget Sound region.  They are easily sliced, thick or thin, with a sharp knife at home and lend themselves to being gently reheated whole and served as a centerpiece at a brunch or weekend football party (Go Hawks!).  One ham generously serves two people and provides leftovers that can be creatively incorporated into dishes throughout the week.

Chef Michael Johnson of Century Link Suites serves our hams sliced and says, “Bavarian Meats ham is simply a superior product with obvious attention to detail…As a chef I pride myself on the relationship I have with them. Bavarian Meats is not only supplying an outstanding product they are a great local partner.”

The Sweetheart Hams can also be purchased wholesale at our warehouse located on Western Avenue.

Bavarian Meats Sous Sol Wine Salami: A New Product Inspired by our German Grandpa

Bavarian Meats Sous Sol Wine Salami Seattle Washington Pike Place Market
Bavarian Meats Sous Sol Wine Salami

Here at Bavarian Meats we are proud to introduce our new Sous Sol Wine Salami. Rooted in the traditional sausage-making techniques and recipes mastered by our beloved German-born grandfather, Max Hofstatter, our new product is a bold tweak on tradition.

Rich with locally made Sous Sol red wine and whole peppercorns, our new salami features lean beef and pork and is made without MSG, fillers or other unnecessary additives. Gluten and dairy free our wine salami is a handcrafted variation on our classic Cervelat and it pairs beautifully in a wide array of dishes, sandwiches and in charcuterie platters featuring other artisan sausages and handcrafted cheeses.

Under development since 2014, wine salami was created by our Production Manager, Jamie Simmons and won the Grand Champion ribbon at the Northwest Meat Processors competition in Pendleton, Oregon that year. Simmons is pleased that we’ve updated a classic recipe yet stayed true to our artisan sausage-making tradition. He said, “Instead of completely reinventing the wheel to create a new recipe we looked at our sausage-making legacy and tweaked what has worked so well for decades. Our Cervelat was a great starting point for experimentation…by ramping up the flavor profile to meet the palates of today’s savvy Seattleites we built a whole new product.  People just love it.”

Sous Sol Wine Salami is available at our full service German deli in the Pike Place Market and at Delicatus, a café and bar specializing in premium deli sandwiches, salad, specialty meats, artisan cheeses and more. The salami needs no refrigeration and is sold in four to five pound sticks, suitable for slicing and cubing.

Derek Shankland, Director of Operations at Delicatus loves the salami and says, “Delicatus and Sous Sol are excited to partner with the local icon Bavarian Meats for our Sous Sol Wine Salami.  The salami is styled closer to a classic Tuscan salami with red wine and black pepper which fits our Italian grinder perfectly. The Olivitto is layered with the Sous Sol Salami, Bavarian Meats Sweet Heart Ham, Domestic Coppa and aged Provolone.  Finished with shredded lettuce, fresh tomato, shaved red onions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and dried Oregano this simple classic just got better just in time for summer.  The Sous Sol Wine salami will also be for retail at Delicatus.”

Note: For vendors who are interested, our Sous Sol Wine Salami is available at our wholesale plant on Western Avenue.

Meet the Next Generation at Bavarian Meats – Four Cousins Raised by Old World Standards

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Here at Bavarian Meats we love our family sausage-making legacy and we are proud to announce that Grandpa Max’s four great granddaughters are getting into the grind at the retail shop at the Pike Place Market.

Aspen Ridgeway, Baillie Stewart, Winter Ridgeway, and Kiley Stewart are stepping into grandpa’s shoes by serving new and loyal customers just like their grandfather did for decades.   Asked about her pride for the family company Winter replied,  “Grandpa Max had the heart of a lion and was so proud of his family and company. We can still feel that here today.  How could I not want to be here? It’s in my blood.  It’s in all of our blood.  Our new logo is a lion and in grandpa’s honor, we nick named him Max.  Each time I see it I feel proud and hope we are living up to his high standards and expectations.  It’s nice having Grandpa Max back, even if it’s just in spirit, that’s all we need.”

Bavarian Meats Holiday Ham: Hand Crafted and Smoked in Small Batches for Big Flavor

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Gearing up for the holiday dinner table and pining for a show stopper? Well, look no further than the special order holiday hams from Bavarian Meats.  Our award-winning 18-20 pound baking hams, which are hand crafted and smoked in small batches, bring big flavor to the season’s smorgasbord of meals!

We’ve been making these cured smoked legs of pork ever since Grandpa Max was stoking the smokers in the 1970s. Some Seattleites say it’s one of our city’s best kept holiday secrets! Using hogs from the renowned family-owned and operated Carlton Farms in Oregon, our Production Manager, Jamie Simmons, carefully brines the bone-in hams and then smokes them slowly and directly over alder in our custom smoker for 24 hours.  This slow direct smoking method results in a richly flavored artisan ham that is fully cooked and can be gently heated at home, permeating the house with a sublime and welcoming aroma.

Our hams take time and because of that we only crank out a limited number during the holiday season. For that reason, we must take orders in advance. So, if you are looking for a show stopper that brings big flavor with a minimum of effort, get in the know and order a Bavarian Meats ham today. Deadline for orders is December 5.

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The hams generally weigh between 18-20 pounds and sell for $3.99 a pound. They can be picked up at Bavarian Meats Delicatessen in the Pike Place Market during regular hours between December 18-24th. (The store will close early on December 24th so plan ahead.)

To order call the store at (206) 441-0942 or email info@bavarianmeats.com or store@bavarianmeats.com