Fresno First: Berrocks (and a "social club")
Fresno First: Berrocks (and a "social club")
Fresno First: Berrocks (and a "social club")

Fresno First: Berrocks (and a "social club")

Posted by jamescollier on May 12, 2011
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Thursday, I received a call from Craig Scharton. It went something like this:

Craig: "What are you doing tomorrow night?"

Me: "I'm not sure. What's up?"

Craig: "I want to take you on a date. I promise it will be one of the most 'Fresno' things you've ever done."

Me: "Okay."

The rest of the conversation was lost in static, but one word made it through the fuzz: berrocks. I was sold.

I picked Craig up about 5:30 p.m. on Friday and headed west to Edison Social Club. Don't know what that is? Neither did I. Craig gave me a little history of the group, noting that he joined for the berrocks.

As we pulled in the parking lot, the line out the door told me two things:

  1. The food must be good.
  2. I was about to be in the minority. Craig has a good 20 years on me, but he's young enough to be the grandchild of other club members, and I'd peg the average age around 75.

We worked our way to the back of the line, which, conveniently, was the start of the bar—$2.50 for beer and $3 for well drinks (and I thought the Brig was cheap!). At 6:00 p.m., Craig's parents joined us just as the line started to shuffle towards the cafeteria.

We each picked up a plate with two berrocks and proceeded to a banquet table; each side sat maybe 15 people—community dining at it's best. Through our conversation I learned a little about the history of berrocks, how these were made, and what makes the club's better than others that I might find locally. Really, it's a simple meal: roast beef, cabbage, bread, salt and pepper.

We also had chicken noodle soup. Sure, it looked and tasted like chicken noodle soup (and it was served in a bowl big enough for the whole table), but it's the first time I've had chicken noodle soup with handmade noodles. The amount of time that went into preparing this meal was incredible.

In all, the club made 8,300 berrocks this year. They sold about 400 tickets to the dinner, so by my count, around 7,500 were picked up the day before, sold by the dozen. Since this is a once-a-year thing, I've set a reminder on my calendar so I can stock up next year.

Craig, thanks for the date. You're always a gentleman.

Comments

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Lori Marks-Noble (not verified)  |  Thu, 2011-05-12 13:29

Great pics and great article. Thanks for making me hungry for such great food James!

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jamescollier  |  Thu, 2011-05-12 13:59

Thanks Lori! It was a real treat.

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Andy Hansen-Smith (not verified)  |  Thu, 2011-05-12 14:29

In my church's youth group as a teen we would have a major fundraiser making and selling beerocks with meat provided free of charge by Heshbeck's butcher shop. Fun to make and easy to sell!

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Nicole (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-05-13 07:42

I need to get in on this next year!

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jamescollier  |  Fri, 2011-05-13 10:47

Nicole, have you made berrocks before? Next year I want to try and get in on the cooking!

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Nicole (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-05-13 10:54

No, I haven't I've read some recipes and know people who make them. It doesn't seem like it would be hard.