Claudia Kwan/for Metro Vancouver
Oyama Sausage Company
Granville Island Public Market
17-1689 Johnston St.
Open daily 9 a.m. — 7 p.m.
Oyama for four, including tax: $41.75
I COULDN’T HELP IT. I was only going to buy a couple of items at the Oyama Sausage Company, but then I saw another thing that I wanted, and another and another. Before I knew it, I was caught up in a shopping spree, and it was either hide the evidence in the freezer (what a shame to freeze fresh sausage!) or invite the neighbours over for an impromptu breakfast for dinner meal.
Thankfully B and P were free and intrigued by the idea. We eased into the night with some olives, Brie, and Oyama’s blood ruby red duck prosciutto. Sometimes when meat is sliced thinly and wind-dried, it needs a hefty fat component to make sure it doesn’t turn into jerky. Not so with this — the duck was very juicy on its own and the generous fat edges even left small pools of oil on the plate. Closing your eyes to savour the incredibly tender meat seemed to do the trick.
The wonderful thing about fresh (uncooked) sausage is that it’s pretty much goof-proof. I simply stuck eight links in a ridged cast iron pan, popped a heated panini press lid on top, and left it while I fried up some potato pancake mix from my local grocery store.
Within a few minutes the perfectly seared sausages were sending the scent signals that they were done, and it was time to tuck in. The smoked Mennonite pork and onion, rosemary lamb and duck with port wine varieties were great, but the eye opener of the night was the venison and blueberry sausage. The sweetness of the berries balanced perfectly with the slightly gamey flavour of the meat.
The company also makes all sorts of pates and terrines, sandwich meats, salamis, bacons, and specialty products like black pudding, haggis, and duck confit. Most of the work is done by hand in a Marpole facility, which the public is allowed to tour on occasion.
Oyama is one of those well-known secrets that makes it a joy to shop locally. Check it out the next time you have a deli craving, but be prepared to wait your turn.