There are likely few carnivores around these parts who haven't consumed a Basque chorizo or two. But solomo, another porky Basque treat, is not quite as widely appreciated-which is a shame, because it's good eats.
What is solomo? So glad you asked. Solomo is cured pork loin marinated in many of the same ingredients and spices (in other words, heavy on the garlic and peppers) as chorizo. You can eat it cold (think appetizers) or warm it up for a main dish. My muma, who has served Gem's version and also makes her own, serves solomo warm, sliced, and covered with homemade pimiento (that's basically roasted peppers and onions).
If you don't want to go to the trouble of making your own, Gem Meat Packing, supplier of the area's best chorizos, makes a wicked solomo-and you can buy it directly from the plant if you call ahead. Some Paul's grocery stores in the area stock Gem's solomo (and can special order it if they don't) and the Basque Market also sells this tasty hunk of pig. Most Basque restaurants around will offer up a version of solomo on their menus as well.
We tried Gem's solomo ($4.25/lb.) heated and sliced, served on crusty French bread with heaps of pimiento. Not quite as good as Muma's, but delicious nonetheless-and much less hassle for the cook.
Gem Meat Packing Co., 515 E. 45th St., Garden City, 375-9424.