Daily Slice: Maple Fennel Sausage at Flatbread Company, Somerville, MA
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
If eating wood-fired pizza and knocking candlepins down with bocce sized balls is your idea of a good time, then Flatbread Company housed in Sacco's Bowl Haven is the place for you. When Flatbread first open, Boston correspondent, Andrew Janjigian reported back that the only real gutter ball was the nitrate-free pepperoni—you can check out the full review here. (Too bad Flatbread didn't have our pepperoni taste test as a guide.) But there is another "clean, chemical free" meat on the menu that merited a closer look, the housemade maple fennel sausage.
To ensure that sausage was the focus, we opted for the Jay's Heart (Flatbread's cheese and tomato) with sausage added ($15.50), rather than the house "Sausage" ($18) which comes with the addition of caramelized onions, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes. The wheat germ that is added to the organically milled wheat flour makes for a slightly sweet base. With that in mind, I double-checked with the waitress to see if the maple made the sausage especially sweet; she assured me it did not.
I can't concur on that front. I think sweet is the most prominent note of their fine meaty crumble. A healthy dose of maple flavor serves to play up the sweet elements that are already characteristic of the fennel seeds. Salt and red pepper flakes helped to add some balance to an otherwise tasty pie, but over-sweetening really knocked this topping out of the running for being the pizzeria kingpin. However, despite the fine crumble of the sausage, it retained its juices and was spot on in terms of texture. Maybe some more savory topping companions are in order for the next round.