Our Specialty – Salsiccia

For 50 years Manzo’s has made traditional Italian salsiccia from a  recipe founders Pietro and Brigida Manzo brought in from Sicily. “The recipe hasn’t changed a bit,” said Pete Manzo, a member of the second generation of the south St. Louis sausage-making family. “I still mix the spices in small batches. I still make the meat in small batches.”

The sausage shop and wholesaler at the corner of Devonshire and Macklind in south St. Louis does a brisk business with its traditional salsiccia – an average of 4,000 pounds a month – but Manzo just can’t help tinkering in the kitchen.  The 33-year-old goateed sausage maker, who joined older brother Paul in the business in 2001, enjoys inventing new sausage recipes for his friends. Last year he developed a Tuscan variety made
with sun-dried tomatoes, Provolone and pepperoncini peppers. His friends enjoyed it so much, Manzo made up a batch for the Missouri Botanical Garden’s annual Best of Missouri Market. The Tuscan sausage was a hit. “It doubled the sales of anything else,” Manzo said. And thus the new variety joined the list of Manzo’s sausage standards.

This year, Manzo will be serving up samples of a new garlic-rosemary sausage at the Best of Missouri Market Oct. 1 and 2. The garlic-rosemary version is one of the 12 “sausages of the month” Manzo is offering as part of his company’s 50th anniversary celebration. Subscribers to his e-mail newsletter have the opportunity to order a different special sausage every month. Offerings so far have included a Provencal variety made with pistachios marinated in wine, a traditional Swedish potato breakfast sausage and a version made with kalamata olives and feta cheese.

The latter variety is not to be confused with Manzo’s Greek loukanika, one of the first new sausage flavors Pete Manzo added to the store’s lineup when the brothers started a wholesale business in 2002 to distribute the sausage products. The store already had a number of Greek customers, one of whom passedon to the brothers her recipe for the
traditional Greek sausage made with garlic, wine and a hint of orange peel. “She was afraid she would die and no one would have the recipe,” Manzo said of the woman, who has since passed away. “She was very happy with what we did with it.”

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