Vandergrift butcher takes ‘homemade’ on the road
Vandergrift native Tommy Scanga grew up above a butcher shop and corner grocery store.
He hails from a family of butchers. Scanga, 59, worked for the family business, Del Vecchio’s Market, until 1993.
“My uncle Neddie taught me the way to make sausage,” Scanga says. “This is how we’ve made it since 1925.”
After a car accident left Scanga dealing with health issues early this year, he decided to step down as owner/operator of the popular Cycle Diner in Tarentum and go mobile, launching his Italian food truck named after his original family business.
“This food truck is a way to carry on my family name,” Scanga says. “The food truck isn’t as stressful, either.”
Scanga created several new sausage flavors with a modern flair, such as his fat-free chicken sausage and jalapeno and Sriracha sausage.
But his original Italian sweet sausage remains the top-seller.
“I’ve been working in the food industry for more than 32 years,” says Scanga, a third-generation butcher. “Can you tell I have a love for food?”
So, why is his sausage different?
“Our sausage is made from 100% pork shoulder, spices and all natural casings. We have used the same recipe since 1925,” Scanga says. “And we don’t have any frozen foods. It’s all cooked fresh on the truck.”
Customers can expect Scanga to offer changing Italian specials sprinkled in with regular Del Vecchio food truck menu items such as pulled pork, fresh-cut fries, fat-free chicken sausage and Italian sweet sausage.
Sandwiches include the Hot Sausage, Sweet Sausage and Pulled Chicken.
Fresh-cut fries are prepared in canola oil and offered in flavors such as Sriracha aioli, taco and cheddar cheese and pulled pork.
Homemade egg rolls are stuffed with Buffalo chicken or pulled pork and fried and served with BBQ sauce.
“My enjoyment comes from continuing my family’s traditions and sharing the sausage with all of our customers,” Scanga says.
You can catch up with Scanga and his truck next on Oct. 19 and 20 at the Monster Pumpkin Festival at Riverfront Park on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.