What's up with the sausages?

When the whole preserving-canning thing took hold in the cookbook world a few years ago, it seemed to me that it owed its resurgence to an essentially vegetarian source culture - you know, homesteaders and beekeepers and organic CSA share-holders.

So it didn't surprise me when a whole flock of books came out on raising chickens and fresh eggs came out - heck, I jumped right on board! And it made sense when the home brewers' beer books came out. Just another way to use grain, right?

But what I didn't expect was that the next stop on the Local route would be pig.  Did I miss something?  Has everyone been ordering meat-grinder attachments for their KitchenAids?  Has there been a run on sel rose?  Tripe casings?

As a devoted consumer of pork in all its forms, I couldn't be happier.  But I don't know who it is who's making it - if I did, I'd be over there in two seconds with my fork and knife and a bottle of Beaujolais nouveau.

Even my foodiest friends are more concerned with getting a reasonable deal for a pork share - we've already got the beef and lamb squared away - than with transforming that pork into something even more delicious than it already is.

So, who are these mystery amateur charcutiers? And more importantly, where do they live?  Speak up! if you know.

3 Comments

  • ellabee  on  11/19/2012 at 5:32 PM

    From what I understand, Brooklyn is chock-a-block with pork transformers. Younger chefs seem to be particular enthusiasts. Without regard to age or location, I'd bet that a big majority of non-professional, home charcutiers are men. Michael Ruhlman might have a pretty accurate reading of who's actually out there putting his book Charcuterie to use, based on communication from readers.

  • fprincess  on  11/20/2012 at 3:30 PM

    I am one of these amateur charcutiers. I participated in Charcutepalooza last year and made a bunch of things from duck prosciutto to bacon, saucission sec, pate, rillettes, sausages, and various terrines. It's a lot of fun and not as hard as you might think!

  • Mark  on  11/20/2012 at 9:13 PM

    Susie, I have been eyeing this 'next level' with great longing...I just have not had the time to dive in. I'd love to make fermented sausages but even fresh sausage would be an improvement, IMHO, on the 'store made' sausages around here. I find them nearly always far too salty and ridonkulously garlicky. I bet I can do better, if I ever get around to it!

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