We've had a lot of emails and phone calls asking questions about The Charcuterie Box recently featured in The New York Times Gift Guide, so we thought we'd put together a post that answers those questions and perhaps inspires some new ones. If you've purchased The Charcuterie Box as a gift for a friend or loved one, consider passing along these pearls of wisdom.
You can learn how to pronounce 'charcuterie' here.
Everything in The Charcuterie Box is fully cooked and ready to eat. You can expect the same shelf life under refrigeration as you would expect from bacon. We do not freeze any of the products in The Charcuterie Box. Everything is made fresh to order. Quite often it is in the smoker just hours before it ships out. We don't like to see our charcuterie frozen, but we also hate seeing anything wasted. So, if you are unable to finish The Charcuterie Box in a timely fashion, you may freeze it as a last resort. Nothing in The Charcuterie Box needs further cooking. The Safe Handling Instructions on the product are there to let you know that the product must be kept under refrigeration and that if you do decide to cook the product, it must be cooked thoroughly.
Now for the fun stuff....
Tasso is a spicy treat made from the shoulder of the pig. You may have eaten it before in Creole foods like jambalaya or gumbo. This is one of the most versatile items in the whole box. Slice it thin and eat it as is. Or dice it up and use it in breakfast hash, soups and stews, or with asparagus or broccoli. We especially like it in split pea soup.
Duck Hams can be sliced thin and eaten as is. These hams also make a great breakfast sandwich when sliced thin and served on English muffins with eggs and cheese. Maybe try it in a grilled ham and cheese panini. Spread some of that Spuma di Lardo on a piece of brioche, add some gruyere cheese and slices of duck ham and then toast in a panini press. Dip that panini in a tomato bisque!
Bacon Liverwurst is a spreadable sausage that likes to be around sour pickles and crusty bread.
Country Pâté is best served right out of the fridge with your favorite jam or jelly. We like hot pepper jelly smeared on a slice of toasted baguette and a bit of chopped chives. This cold meatloaf is also the cornerstone of the Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich. The bánh mì usually has a smear of liver mousse, but in a pinch you could use that Bacon Liverwurst. Just smear the liverwurst on a baguette, top with pâté, pickled veggies and cilantro.
Duck Rillette is made by shredding up duck confit and adding some duck fat back into it. Put a forkful on a cracker and top it with your fanciest mustard. If you're fortunate enough to have a German deli near you, try some mustards you can't pronounce. If not, use a Dijon like Grey Poupon. Duck Rillette is also great in paninis and grilled sandwiches.
Smoked Antelope Sausage is ready to eat as is. Slice it into wheels and serve it alongside the rest of these fancy meats on a big wooden board with lots of pickles, cheeses, mustards, olives, crackers and breads. You can also eat Smoked Antelope Sausage just as you would eat a kielbasa. Fire up the grill and eat it with grilled peppers and onions. Try it with kraut and mustard. Or eat it with eggs and toast in the morning. There are no rules here, folks...
Smoked Headcheese is made with cheeks and other meat gathered from the pig's head, as the name would imply. We get more compliments on the headcheese than anything else in The Charcuterie Box. It's ready to eat on toast or crackers with all your favorite condiments. We like it with pickled chilies and shaved radishes.
Spuma di Lardo is also called "pork butter" down here in the South. We like to smear some of this onto sourdough bread and then put some grill marks on it. Us it like you would use butter to finish a dish. Put it on grilled meats and veggies. Melt it on baked potatoes or toss it with some potato wedges right out of the oven. Just be careful cooking with Spuma. Ours has a lot of honey in it and if you try to heat it like butter, the honey will caramelize and could burn.
Happy Holidays, fancy friends! Stay safe! Stay warm! And keep everything in moderation, including moderation!
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