August 5, 2011 > Unique Sandwich Marks Quarter Century
Unique Sandwich Marks Quarter Century
By Dave O'Hara
A milestone will soon be reached for a local food favorite, when the Rotary Club of Mission San Jose serves its renowned Linguica burger on Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7, at the Fremont Festival of the Arts in midtown Fremont. This will be the twenty-fifth year this entry in the spectrum of innovative foods is offered. You will likely see a crowd gathered around the stand at Paseo Padre and Capitol, where the aroma of spicy meats and grilled onions are sure to whet your appetite.
"The first year we cooked the customary Linguica sausage, sliced lengthwise and grilled" says sous chef Tom Handley, "but to cook it through meant burning the edges, and the method was labor intensive." That is when Rotarian Todd Scott dreamed up the current taste treat, which features having the sausages made nine feet long and six inches in diameter. After curing, the skin is pealed away, and the long tube of meat is sliced into disks, five to the pound. These 'tukes' are grilled and resemble hamburgers, hence the Linguica burger. They are placed on a hamburger bun and voila, an easy to fix and easy to eat sandwich invented right here.
A cartoon character invented for this product, Len Guisa, describes the product as: "Succulent disks of prime Linguica cooked to a glorious golden brown on a deglazed grill kept warm since dawn, served with splendidly sauteed onions on a high loft bun made just for the event and served with courtesy by the Rotary Club of Mission San Jose. Add this taste delight to the zany and mirthful reception at this emporium of epicurean treats, and you have an experience not to be missed."
Since the Linguica is prepared by special order, "the nutritional elements are controlled without reducing the fine taste," says Handley. "However, the meat is so lean that the grills must be oiled before the first 'burgers' go on, to prevent sticking."
The Linguica burger has caught on so well that several brands can be found at local markets in areas of Portuguese immigrant concentration, like the Tri-Cities.
Mayor Bob Wasserman has been a grill master for most of the 25-year history. "While it is not exactly health food, the Linguica burger is a treat which should not be missed," says the Mayor. "We hope to see you all at the corner of Paseo Padre and Capitol, just a block from City Hall, during the festival."
Fremont Festival of the Arts
Saturday, Aug 6 - Sunday, August 7
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(Between Paseo Padre Pkwy. and Fremont Blvd.; and between Mowry Ave. and Walnut Ave.