No, I couldn’t pronounce the word “charcuterie” the first time I read it. Literally, it means pork-butcher’s shop. Older definitions say it simply meant cooked meat. I have eaten and enjoyed much of it over the years. So have most of you. We often know it as lunch meat, cold-cuts, deli-meats, etc. It also includes bacon, ham, and many sausages.
Keith and I have made our own bacon, ham, and breakfast sausage for years. Yet, we are novices. In fact, we’ll never live long enough to master such old-world skills. And we’re unlikely to discover many of the secret recipes. However, we love to keep learning and trying.
Last year, we gathered with friends to make Braunschweiger (a.k.a liverwurst). I was grateful that our friends had shared not only the work, but also a great recipe. I was also grateful that it was made with our homegrown, pastured pork. I fell in love with it and for many weeks, couldn’t seem to get enough.
Unfortunately, many folks will never try tasting liverwurst, much less making it. There’s a modern “yuck” factor that permeates our culture. And organ meats and animal fats are often misunderstood. It’s a shame. Our brains and bodies benefit from such vital nutrients. Not to mention, our knowledge, skills, and friendships also benefit from charcuterie adventures.