Taste: Trend: DIY Charcuterie
Three local chefs are offering their own house-cured meats
These days, the home chef who wants to impress guests with a charcuterie tray will find ample advice available in every foodie mag. (Top tip: Create an international mix, contrasting the unique flavors developed in different countries — from the sweet meats of Italy and the spicy Spanish options to the experimental American fare.) But ambitious local chefs aren’t content with simply sourcing great charcuterie. Many are seasoning and curing the popular meats themselves in the basements and backrooms of area restaurants.
• Tangerine’s Todd Fuller has experimented with many different cures. Taste his fennel-spiked salami, made with Niman Ranch pork, on the feeds-two $30 meze platter at this Old City spot.
• London Grill chef Dennis Heslin stocks his charcuterie plate with housemade Tuscan salami and coriander-and-peppercorn-crusted smoked duck pastrami. He recently started to cure the legs of a High View Farm pig, but making prosciutto is a year-long process. We’ll be there at Christmastime to taste the results.
• Look for several varieties of charcuterie at Maia, scheduled to open in late February or early March. Chef Patrick Feury, also of Nectar, is planning to include the “Best of the Wurst” on his opening menu — house-made knockwurst, bratwurst and frankfurters on poppy-seed rolls. Maia: 789 East Lancaster Avenue, Villanova; 866-907-6242.