Frequently Asked Questions
Charcuterie (/ʃɑːrˌkuːtəˈriː/ or /ʃɑːrˈkuːtəri/; northern French: [ʃaʁkytˈʁi] or southern French: [ʃaʁkytəˈʁi], from chair ‘flesh’ and cuit ‘cooked’) is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork.
Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef‘s repertoire. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes.[Wikipedia]
This is how you pronounce Charcuterie;
When we talk about Charcuterie in the UK we tend to mean Salami, Chorizo and other cured meats such as Air-dried Ham, rather than Sausages and Hams.
We Brits eat several million tonnes of Charcuterie a year…….but now the British Charcuterie Artisan is vying for a piece of the action in an industry that has long been dominated by the Italians, French and Spanish.
Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the conditions in which European pigs are farmed. The mass-produced, over-processed way in which Charucterie is being made, coupled with an unnecessary large carbon footprint, British Charcuterie is really coming into its own.
When Marsh Pig was born in 2012 there were around 11 producers of British Charcuterie. We now estimate that there are several hundred companies that are producing British Charcuterie within this fast expanding industry.
Foodies who care about the provenance of their meat.
British Artisans are not industrialised. The skill and husbandry that goes into making a British Salami is amazing.
The different meats being cured are pretty diverse too. As we don’t have any restrictions relating to traditional methods and tastes, we have a literal smorgersboard of meats to trial and experiment with, from Boar to Wild Game, Goose to Pheasant.
The great advantage of using British Pigs is our animal husbandry, it is the best in the world and those using free range or Organic are leaps ahead in support of the welfare and ultimately the taste of the finished product.
Never has it been more true; ‘you get out, what out put in’.
Eat and enjoy British Charcuterie with a totally clear conscience.
In reality this is down to the price of the pork. I know from personal experience that I can’t buy wholesale the fresh meat for my products for the retail price some European Charcuterie is being sold for.
You will be eating an amazing quality product, starting with the animals’ welfare. We can tell you what the breed is, what the animal ate, how long it lived, the conditions in which it was kept and how far the abbatoir was from the field.
Well, I was in my local budget supermarket a while back and of course was nosying around the Charcuterie section and came across a salami for 79p for 100g. Let’s just break that down a bit. The producer has had to earn a living, then the product has to be shipped to the UK , of course incurring costs and the shop has made a profit too. So let’s say the starting price of the salami being sold to said supermarket was 20p for 100g.
Are you getting the idea that perhaps it’s not all good quality meat from well cared for pigs?
Traditionally European charcuterie is made from the shoulder and belly of a pig, but at Marsh Pig we found using shoulder meat left us with too much sinew and the belly made it too fatty, so we use leg meat that has had 95% of the sinew removed and then add only 15% fat. European Charcuterie, on the other hand, normally contains between 30-60% fat.
Also of worthy note
Take a look at the back of a packet of salami and check out all the extra ingredients and the amount of E- numbers, some are there to preserve which is fair enough and protects the consumer, others are there to reduce the PH of the meat because it poor quality to start with (and has probably been killed whilst stressed)
Marsh Pig Salami only adds Sodium Nitrite (to preserve the meat and protect against botulism) you wont find anything else except a really high meat content, a really low fat content and all the Salami, Chorizo, Coppa, Lomo and Bresaola are Gluten, Wheat and Lactose free
It takes eight weeks to air-dry the salami and two weeks to marinade Coppa, and then twelve weeks for it to be air-dried. Interestingly salami, after its been cured, loses around 35% of its original weight.
We have found a lot of people believe Chorizo to be a completely different product to Salami whereas in fact it’s made and cured in exactly the same way. What makes it a Chorizo is the sheer volume of paprika that is added to get that familiar rich earthy flavour.
Marsh Pig’s Curing & Smoking Course is held monthly and teaches individuals how to make; Bacon, Pancetta, Coppa, how to build a cold smoker, how to hot smoke salmon, Biltong, Jerky, Salami & Fresh Sausages. We are the only commercial makers of Charcuterie that are willing to show you such a comprehensive amount of information regarding the secrets Curing & Smoking.