Food: Trupiano’s Sausage
Some people in Gloucester don’t believe it’s a holiday unless there is Trupiano’s sausage. And some people don’t even believe it’s a Monday unless there’s Trupiano’s sausage.
Mike Ciaramitaro makes 1800 – 2100 pounds of sausage at Christmas time, and stays up for three days straight grinding and encasing meat. His sausage has soothed homesick Gloucester residents as far away as Japan, Egypt, London, and Aruba.
Trupiano and Ciaramitaro, two cardinal Gloucester names are associated with what may be the most important local food in this town after cod. Joe Trupiano developed the recipe in his Washington Street butcher shop. When Mike Ciaramitaro purchased the business, he purchased the recipe, which has become as important to this city as the Man at the Wheel.
Ciaramitaro shaped his adulthood like many Gloucester kids — fishing on his father’s boat, the Vito C., a 96-foot eastern rig. He fished with his father from 1976 – 1994, and then worked in his father’s store, a business that sold just about everything connected to the fishing industry including fish.
The fishing industry was his skill, and cutting fish was what he knew best. So when he decided it was time to go out on his own, a fish market made sense, but what was available?
A butcher shop.
Joe Trupiano was finally ready to sell his Gloucester butcher shop and grocery store, so Ciaramitaro took a 90-day lesson from Joe in cutting meat. In those 90 days Ciaramitaro learned to be a butcher and he learned the closely-guarded recipe for Trupiano’s legendary sausage.
Ciaramitaro ran the business with his wife for fourteen years. When the grocery climate began to change, he closed Trupiano’s for good, believing his chicken salad and sausage-making days were over.
Not so much.
People started calling Ciaramitaro in his home, begging him to make the sausage again. Butchers, grocery stores, even the fishing industry have come and gone, but Trupiano’s sausage remains vital to tables and barbecues far and wide.
All natural, fresh ingredients are the secret recipe in plain view. Trupiano’s sausage has a shelf life of three days, but they freeze very well.
▶︎ Trupiano’s Sausage is sold at the new Whistlestop Market (formerly Cracker Jack’s) in Rockport, Lanesville Package Store, and at the Gloucester and Rockport farmers’ markets. For more information or to place an order online, visit Trupiano’s virtual store on Facebook.