I'm a newbie to this forum, so please forgive any goof-ups.
I'm also a Western-NY'er, raised on Patrick Cudahy's mild Margherita stick pepperoni (no slices, please) from Tops Supermarkets (I think they're defunct).
I've been looking for online Cudahy outlets. Even discussed it with a Cudahy online rep. He couldn't recommend a shipping retailer. I've tried the Margherita brand and it's far too hot and spicy. Before I left the San Francisco Bay Area, I'd tried the local pepperonis many times. All were far too red and spicy.
Recently, I found Fortuna's Sausage Company in Sandgate VT. Their pepperoni is excellent eating. Haven't tried it on a pizza yet. But after coast-to-coast shipping, it's very expensive.
My newest discovery (last month) is an excellent pepperoni from Grandpa's Cheese Barn in Ashland OH. Half the price of Fortuna's. Great eating, but also hasn't been tried on a pizza yet. Shipped in an insulated mylar/aluminum wrapping with a freezer gel pack. Still ice cold after 5 days transit. I think they make their own and don't re-brand someone else's.
Does anyone have any experience with either of these products - Fortunas or Grandpa's?
Also, has anyone ever tried caponata - Sicilian Eggplant Appetizer, as a pizza topping?