Saturday, February 22, 2014

This little piggy went to market ...

I'm a serious carnivore, and that translates into charcuterie love! The French term 'charcuterie' (shar-KOO-ter-ee) is the craft of preparing, curing and cooking ham, bacon, sausages, pâtés, terrines and confits to preserve their beauty and taste. But, the recent charcuterie boon has grown to include beef, poultry and even seafood.

Da Rosa bucherie on rue de Seine, Paris. 

My first exposure to these incredible meats were visits to bucherie shops in Paris and Rome's norcineria and macelleria shops.

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But, it wasn't until our local farmers' markets began an earnest introduction into charcuterie that I became a huge fan. 

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Two of my favorite vendors at Pearl Farmers' Market are out of Austin: Kocurek Family Artisanal Charcuterie and Dia Due Butcher Shop. Their artisanal salumi, pancettacured sausages and prosciutto can't be beat.

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What goes on a charcuterie board is really about personal preference. A variety of cured pork, accompanied by two or three cheese offerings and rustic bread accounts for the staples. I like to have something unexpected like pickled artichokes and a sweet component like fruit and a jam or jelly, too.

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My dear husband crafted the most beautiful cheese board for me, and spring is in the air. So, it's time for a soiree where wine, good friends and an ample spread of charcuterie starts the outdoor entertaining season.

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