Past and present aside, the question that remains for many is what exactly falls under the category of charcuterie? While a variety of cured meats come readily to mind, charcuterie actually includes much more, from mousses and pâtés to terrines, to rillette and sausages. So... what specifically are those?? Generally speaking, mousses, pâtés and terrines are made from meats that are ground (or more coarsely chopped, in the case of terrines), then seasoned including with aromatics. Then they are slow cooked in a small pots - which are also called a terrine - and then set to cool under weighted pressure for several days. This methodical process allows for depth of flavor, particularly important since this type of charcuterie is typically served cold or at room temperature. Rillettes are meats that are slow cooked for several hours, then shredded and packed in sterile containers and covered in fat. The resulting product is a rustic, spreadable meat, often duck or pork. And while you might think you know sausage, keep in mind there are two types - fresh and cooked. While fresh sausages are made from raw meat to be cooked later, that which is classified as charcuterie is cooked during production and ready to eat right away.
A thorough understanding of charcuterie of course helps us enjoy it even more!! We love the range of charcuterie from our friends at Three Little Pigs, a small-batch charcutier from Feedfeed’s home city of New York. The award-winning Three Little Pigs has been at it since 1975 - while not quite 500+ years strong, an artisan brand almost 50 years in the making knows a thing or two. We regularly use Three Little Pigs assorted charcuterie to make our own gatherings special, be it at Feedfeed’s HQ or in our own homes.