When Pigs Fly, Formaggio Kitchen [Camberville, MA]

Yesterday I hit the When Pigs Fly company store in Davis Square and picked up a sourdough and a NY rye loaf, both so much fresher than I have ever had when buying the bread at Wilson Farms or Market Basket. I also picked up a loaf of Sicilian green olive and hot cherry pepper bread – that might become my new bread obsession. The nice woman helping me said it pairs well with something rich: avocado, cheese, prosciutto. So far cheese and prosciutto have both been winners, can’t wait to try it with avocado.

Then I hit Formaggio Kitchen in its new location at the former site of Fresh Pond Market. What a beautiful store! And although two employees told me it has the same square footage as the old place it’s hard to credit as there is no sense of rubbing butts with other customers as you make your way down the aisle. My new discovery on this visit was Cochran Farm Oriskany cheese: a creamy, goaty piece of deliciousness. Also the usual suspects including some goodies from the sidewalk BBQ. I am very happy to enjoy the new and improved FK experience but I can’t help feeling for the folks who relied on having a true grocery store in the area.


Thanks for sharing this. What are the cherry peppers liked when baked in the bread?

I have succumbed to the charms of fresh cherry peppers late in this summer season. I have been cutting them in half, seeding them, and roasting them with olive oil. The peppers become mellow and more sweet than they they are hot.


The cherry peppers are diced fairly small, as are the olives, and well dispersed within the bread. Pretty spicy but not overpowering.


this is really kind of hard to fathom. it’s so much less cramped than the old spot was!

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The Boston Globe reports the new space is twice the size:

Formaggio Kitchen opened a new flagship location Monday, moving from its original shop at 244 Huron Ave. to a space down the street at 358 Huron Ave.

Formaggio’s new outpost, which took over the former Fresh Pond Market in Huron Village, is twice the size of its original location,


That sure makes more sense! I wonder why the employees are saying otherwise?

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Yes, I like those breads too, and, yes, they are much better straight from the store.

On the FK square footage question, maybe the employees were not including the wine area in their assessment. Still, the main area alone seems a lot bigger than the old store, and every single component seems bigger – the cash register counter, the produce racks, etc.

I am one of the folks who misses have the old market there. Life was much better with both it and FK around, with the added excitement of some quality butt rubbing at FK with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and Stephen Breyer.


A Slice of Cambridge at Formaggio Kitchen

It’s a gorgeous day. April 23rd, the seventh anniversary of when our Dad died, so I want a day that he would enjoy, too. He was a guy who liked to indulge himself in the things he loved. Like fishing, talking, and dim sum. Once, when he and Mom came up to celebrate his birthday (he was not big on celebrations but was well into his late 80s by then) I said we could go to his favorite dim sum place, China Pearl, on Saturday. Without missing a beat he held up two fingers. “Saturday and Sunday,” he declared. So we did. He was passionate about chicken feet and tripe.

Today I am looking forward to driving into Cambridge early, all the better to get the pick of Formaggio Kitchen’s BBQ yumminess that they sell out on the street on weekends. I’ve heard a lot about this BBQ. I’ve heard that you should get there early because a line forms. I arrive a half-hour early for their 11 am start time, find a great parking spot, and take a leisurely stroll to where I see the white tent in the distance. The smell of wood smoke tingles my nose. I’m getting excited.

It’s only 10:30-ish but all the food seems to be set out: great vats of macaroni and cheese, fennel salad, Texas potato salad, baked beans, Mexican street corn off the cob, collards. Further down are racks of ribs (beef and pork), short ribs, fried chicken pieces, and more. Then, the mother lode ─ vats of chopped brisket, pulled smoked chicken, humongous special hot dogs, various sauces. I am in serious foodie overload but the kids dishing out food are fun and chatty and hairy and funky. Before I know it I am sharing my special recipe for collards using Chinese sausage instead of smoked wings with one of the guys. I could stand here and smell the place and watch people for hours. It feels like the center of the Universe.

When it’s my turn, I spend an inordinate amount of money on fried chicken (one dark meat one white) and chopped brisket, the pulled smoked chicken and many sides. Earlier, I had spoken sternly to myself, deciding simply to order a couple of things. Show some restraint. But it’s a GLORIOUS day. And I’m thinking of Daddy and what he would have liked, so I go to town. Inside Formaggio I wander around, dodging between the Cambridge-y couples and their kids. I treat myself to a couple of wedges of interesting cheeses: Sternberger Bergkase cow’s milk from Switzerland and Strach’in from Piedmont, Italy, an ice coffee, and a fig and bacon scone, of course.

Walking back up Huron Avenue to my car, I encounter a young couple with their bubbly toddler. She’s wearing the kind of cotton dress I wish they made for adults, blue and white striped cotton with powder blue tights. I tell this to the Mom and she agrees. Toddler’s got two pony-tails and is bouncing around, pointing at the closed toy store with much anticipation. Mom is trying to explain that the shop is closed. I lean towards the little girl and say, helpfully, “Maybe you can come another day,” with a bit of a hopeful upward lilt. (Talking to kids is also something Dad loved to do.) This is the point when the previously gleeful toddler’s lip quivers and she breaks into howls of disappointment. I have made the child cry.

Cambridge being Cambridge, as I wave goodbye and continue towards my car, I overhear the Mom patiently say to the still wailing child, “Now Oona honey, tell Mommy where the sad hurts…”

I have plans to noodle around Cambridge because it’s windy but lovely, flowering trees abound, the Cambridge cognoscenti are out and about. Tight-assed bicyclers in black Spandex are whizzing by.
But then in my head I start to write a piece about my day (well, morning) in Cambridge. And I can’t wait to write it. So I leave Cambridge and make the short drive home, listening to the genius of Randy Newman on a cd in my car. And now here I am.

Not even going to unpack the bags, take out the extra trash, or empty the washer and put clothes in the dryer. I head straight to my computer, ice coffee and scone in hand. Dad and I are both writers. I know he’d understand.


Thank you. I really enjoyed reading about your dad and your splendid day.

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Lovely account. I was at the FK BBQ a week after you (yesterday), and posted my account of the food here.

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Beautiful and so moving. Made me cry! I’m glad you had a dad like that, and I’m sorry for your loss.

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What a picture you paint. And such a sweet way to honor the memory of your Dad.

Now you have me looking forward to reading more of what you write.


We love that olive/cherry pepper WPF bread. I’d get it much more often if it wasn’t such a pain to drive through and park in Davis Square. Next time I’ll get two loaves and freeze one. They slice it for you on the spot.


Thank you for sharing this, @SuzieCK. The stories of how food intersects and decorates our lives make reading this site especially rewarding.

We were invited to brunch at a home on Fresh Pond Parkway today but didn’t want to arrive 10 minutes early so we made a slight detour to FK. The weekend BBQ tent was in full production and another glorious day invited the “Cambridge cognoscenti” out of their libraries. We passed on BBQ but did stock up on a few cheeses and other indulgences. We hadn’t been inside FK since they expanded. It’s a different experience. Though I have fond memories of crowding into the old narrow space by the cheese counter.

Speaking of cognoscenti, I once ran into Sissela Bok at FK, wife of former Harvard president Derek Bok. She is an intellectual force (see her books on Secrets and on Lying), daughter of two Nobel Prize winners.


Formaggio Fromage Will Travel

When you’re invited for a weekend on the Cape, and you know your host loves cheese - the funkier the better, then there is no better gift than a selection from Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge. Thus I arrived laden with five or six cheeses (sheep, goat and cow) plus a porky, deeply seasoned slice of pate de campagne.

My order from Formaggio:

  • Formaggio Pate Campagne - porky, well-seasoned, aromatic chunky hunks 'o pig.
  • Blue Ledge Farm Lake’s Edge Goat Milk from Leicester, VT - floral, ashy streaks, goaty-funk in a good way, creamy-ish when ripe
  • Pardou Ardi Gasna Sheep’s Milk, Pyrenees, France - flavorful and oh-so-slighty creamy
  • Middlebury Blue - Blue Ledge, Cow’s Milk, Leicester, VT - not-too assertive but tasty creamy-ish blue.
  • Zimbo, Sheep’s Milk, Cacem, Portugal - I can’t remember because I had too much Pernod in the oysters mentioned below. Sorry.

To my delight and amazement, my host (my cousin Barbara), had been given a gift of about 18 fresh Wellfleet oysters. They were chilling in her fridge. What what did we do? After shucking them ourselves (to many moans and groans), we made an unholy amount of Oysters Rockefeller, complete with Pernod, shallots, garlic, spinach, and bread crumbs. Confession: I was a bit heavy-handed with the Pernod. Got carried away. Still, they were like ambrosia. The oysters were plump and just barely cooked, the spinach sweet, and the Pernod well, anise-y and alcoholic.

After our cheese course and polishing off a bottle of quite fine red wine, we adjourned to watch “Belfast.” We were still raving about it over dark roast breakfast coffee: the cinematography, script, acting (Dame Judi Dench - please!), the all-Van Morrison sound track, and the very quiet yet compellingly vivid story. Do yourself a favor – watch it soon. And maybe eat some Wellfleet oysters.


It all sounds fabulous!!


Beautiful account about everything, especially the food but also the movie!

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Thanks for that lovely vignette! Way to go on using a muffin tin to stabilize the oysters, though it still looks a bit precarious. I use crumpled up aluminum foil when I grill oysters — you could do that with a cookie sheet.

What a treasure FK is. It doesn’t compete with visiting the source for regional cheeses that aren’t produced in sufficient quantities for export or don’t travel well, but it does expand our horizons tremendously.

Oh, and consider taking the B & G Oysters shucking class. In addition to learning a few tricks that will increase your shucking efficiency and confidence, you get a tour of east coast oysters, from the Maritimes to Virginia.


I felt like I was right there next to you. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

I used to watch Judi Dench in “As Time Goes By” when I moved back home with mom and dad years ago. The memory warms the cockles.


I usually try the Julia Child opening method of using a “church key” first. Then I move on to a real oyster knife. Both work well. And when we found some that were recalcitrant, we stuck them in the freezer for a couple of minutes for gentle persuasion. Voila!