Walking into Cured Delicatessen in Haysboro, is like walking back 30 + years into my childhood for me. With one mere step inside the modern, yet classically styled deli, I breathe deeply and find myself transported to our family’s closest small town butcher and sausage maker, Shellbrook Meats. We didn’t head to town very often; only when mom was missing something extremely important (like milk), dad needed a haircut, or had an appointment at the bank. There was never any ‘fun’ reason to go to Shellbrook and the 45 minute car trip was excruciating, but at the end (oh, the sweet end!) there was always pepperoni. It’s the most perfect pepperoni on earth…to this day, when my parents come to visit me in Calgary, they bring me a couple of kilos of that meaty goodness. Lucky for me, they are coming for a visit next week…fingers crossed!
So, what happens when they haven’t visited in a while? Where can I get my pepperoni and sausage cravings satiated? The newly reopened, friendly neighbourhood deli: Cured Delicatessen. It feels like it has been around for so long, and in a way it has; opened as the original ‘European Deli’ in 1955 (in Mount Royal) it later moved to the Haysboro location and became a treasure trove of familiar tastes to German, Hungarian, and Dutch customers. If a business is still going strong 60 years later, you know they are doing something right.
Current Cured owner, Dale Greene wasn’t always a sausage fanatic. He trained at SAIT, worked at various Calgary restaurants, eventually ending up as the bakery manager at Sunterra market. Like all great enterpreneurs, Dale saw that there was a demand for quality cured meats using traditional spice blends with no gluten, artificial preservatives or binders. Sausage making isn’t generally a profession that you just stumble onto. It takes years of training and because it’s a craft, it’s best to learn from a master. Enter Karl Mueller, the former owner of Mountain Sausage in Lethbridge whose style is mostly German, focussing on ‘all the wursts’…and that’s okay with me!
Armed with the required sausage knowledge, Dale, along with his wife Shaine, began looking for a ‘meat loving’ community where they could open a business and raise their young family. Just as the links of a coil of sausage have a beginning and an ending, so too does the life of a business. The owners of the Haysboro European Deli were ready to retire and Dale leapt at the opportunity to buy the deli, also inheriting the sausage appreciating customer base. He aims to keep old favourites around, like the ‘Roundie’ (which is basically a large Kaiser bun sandwich filled with deli meats that has been around since 1955) while at the same time playing with new flavours, like chocolate chorizo.
In addition to the over 2000 pounds of cured meats and sausages that are made over the course of a month, there is a small, but mighty lunch menu including the aforementioned Roundie, a daily ‘tubesteak’ or grilled sausage with toppings, breakfast sandwiches, charcuterie board, and schnitzel sandwiches. The weekend brunch menu is slightly smaller, with a wider variety of breakfast type dishes as one would expect. I’ve tried the Chicken and Waffles on several occasions now, and I’m in love with the combo of chicken Kaarage, chocolate chorizo, and marmalade. It’s the perfect combination of savoury, sweet, and bitter…
I’ll use any excuse to go to Cured. For example, before I even began writing this post, I texted my hubby to tell him I was making a trip there for sandwich meat. I really didn’t have to ask him what he wanted because I knew already the answer would be what he texted back in reply, ‘motadella’ (I knew that he meant slices of the delicious mortadella stuffed ham). I think I will pick up some of the Hippy Dippy Bologna too, because sometimes I just need a slice of bologna and if I can get it nitrate free, then all the better! Then there are the landjagers, the bratwursts, the truffle salami…
8409 Elbow Drive SW; 403-244-0570
Hours: Closed Monday
Tuesday-Saturday 8:30 am – 7 pm
Sunday 8:30 am – 2 pm