Charcuterie

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Charcuterie runs the entire gauntlet of cookery. It represents an ancient culinary science that hallmarks the advent of a civilized mankind. Charcuterie is a fifteenth-century French term derived from the root words ‘chair’, which translates to flesh and ‘cuit’, meaning cooked. Charcutiers are in a specialty class of their own, distinguished from the classic butcher as a crafted meat preserver and engineer of flavor (Doherty, 2009). American consumers commonly misconceive charcuterie as a novelty or delicacy that is not readily available, when in fact charcuterie is everywhere. Oscar Mayer cold cuts, a modern day American staple, are produced by a preservation technique used before the concept of refrigeration. From the humble isle ways of local supermarkets to the posh pantries of restaurateurs and the finest charcuteries, a primitively preserved slab of hog is an ode to any carnivorous appetite. Charcuterie is mastery of the art of creating sausages and other cured, smoked and preserved meats (Ruhlman and Polcyn, 2005). Charcuterie mimics the dynamic trends of the culinary arts and continues to garner new delectable spin on time-tested classics. Preservation was cooking’s catalyst and in essence conjured the concept of a chef! The distinct flavor of charcuterie is as rich as its heritage. The origin of charcuterie is saturated with traditions, controversy and has stood the test of time in a competitive industry with rivaling styles. Charcuterie is both art and a science; the mechanics should be explored in order to appreciate the relevance of a taste that is as old as humankind. Remnants of charcuterie date back to the origins of Homo sapiens. Charcuterie was the groundwork for human survival in virtually every culture. ... ... middle of paper ... ... been rehabilitated through consumer awareness and activism that led to better sanitation practices, overall care and slaughter. Swine is the reigning creature of charcuterie, palatable from head to tail! Charcuterie is an intricate part of the culinary scene. Chefs have implemented exquisite adaptations of preservation techniques to showcase charcuterie in contemporary dining. Variations from different regions ripened a romance between charcuterie and international cuisine. A French farmer would alchemize scraps of meat to make “waste” palatable is nowadays offered as paté (Ruhlman and Polcyn, p 22)! Charcuterie cannot nor should not be precisely defined; it is something to be experienced. The historical nature of charcuterie connects you to your ancestors in a tangible way. Culinary art is a by-product of a rudimentary need to sustain and preserve life.

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