Aidells Sausages 1625 Alvarado St., San Leandro, 877-243-3557 Aidells.com
Once upon a time there was a chef by the name of Bruce Aidells who worked in a respected chicken shack along Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. After a few years, he tired of fryers and broilers and boilers and soup, and decided to turn his hand to sausage. Today he is known as the East Bay's "sausage king" (no, not the homicidal one you've read about in the papers recently). His acclaim has spread far beyond this area, probably as much for his numerous food books as his sausage, but he's still ours, he's still here, and his sausages are available in all the local food stores. They're damn good, too, ranging in influence from Cajun to Creole, Moroccan to Mexican, vegetarian to Thai. Bruce also runs the flavor gamut, with everything from bier (beer) to whiskey, turkey to duck, and curry to habanero to fennel.