There are many interesting side effects that occur when your spouse is in the restaurant industry:
1. You have an extensive library of cookbooks
2. If you decide to throw a party, you have a plethora of wine glasses you can borrow
3.Random kitchen utensils mysteriously disappear to be found later at the restaurant
4. Chef Wear catalogs will arrive monthly at your house
5. You run errands in a van plastered with restaurant logos
6. Your husband tries to turn your guest house into a place where he can age cured meats
Luckily, my in-laws have a fantastic humidity controlled room at their house that is much better than my guest house for aging cured meats…that is until my husband needs more room. Lately, my love has taken on a passion for deepening his knowledge when it comes to cured meats. He wants to see house made charcuterie on the menu with mind-blowing specials based on creativity and availability.
Charcuterie is the art and science of making cooked, cured, and smoked meats. Charcuterie developed over 6,000 years ago as a way for people to preserve meat for year round consumption. This was especially important for cultures that wanted to end a nomadic lifestyle and settle down. Meat had to be cured during summer months to ensure that people had protein during the winter months when fresh meat was simply unavailable to hunt. As civilizations evolved so did cured meats. But the greatest evolution occurred when French chefs evolved this once primitive survival tool into something reserved for the more sophisticated palate. In the fifteenth century, it was illegal for the French chacuteir to sell “uncooked” pork, so out of necessity ingenuity was born. Salted and dried items filled the shelf. Guilds were established and esteem was given to these important people who were protecting the food and satisfying the taste buds for an entire community. As Charcuterie gained popularity it spread to neighboring regions allowing each country to put their spin on it. From there the “Frankfurter” was born in Frankfurt, Germany, “Genoa Salami” came out of Genoa, Italy and “Bologna” got its first name in Bologna, Italy.
Fast forward some 500 years and charcuterie is finding a new revival as chefs across the world get sassy with it and add their twists on the classic. Charcuterie is being highlighted on menus across the nation, it is featured in food magazines, and talked about throughout cooking shows. Hence, why I spent the past three hours taking pictures of four chefs breaking down six pigs to feature in our newsletter highlighting the latest charcuterie special coming to a restaurant near you in 1 to 52 weeks. Oh the life of a restaurant wife…never a dull moment nor a dull knife.