Charcuterie is the art of cooking meat that extracts deep flavors from the meat through the preservation process. It dates back to the first century, before there was refrigeration, as a way to preserve meat. Today, charcuterie is seen all over restaurant menus to accompany cheese plates and it is something many restaurants take deep pride in. I love a good meat + cheese plate to snack on for a light lunch or even better, enjoyed over cocktails in the evening hours.
Colt and grey in lower highlands has one of the best charcuterie programs in the city; their selections change regularly and feature sausages, pâtés, confits, ham, terrines and bacon, all of which are 'painstakingly made in house'. I have been stopping into colt and grey regularly to feed my charcuterie craving and I have yet to be disappointed. A favorite of mine is the braunschweiger, a german style liver sausage that is spreadable and extremely tasty on a cracker with a bit of seedy mustard. Other tasty options include lonza, a dry-cured pork loin with delicate flavors of fennel and orange and the merguez lamb sausage that is loaded with spices. Merguez pairs great with the many cheese options on the menu and are not masked when paired together.
Yes, some of the charcuterie offerings might sound a bit outside your comfort zone but I insist you go in with an open mind and try as many as you can. The flavor profiles, textures and seasonings are all so vastly different but most importantly, they are not nearly as scary as they read on the menu. I am glad charcuterie is such a prominent feature on so many restaurant menus; I cannot get enough and have enjoyed tasting my way through so many charcuterie options available today.