Charcuterie is one of those words that, for some reason, the English language did not see a need to come up with and so we just stole it from the French.
It seems particularly odd when one considers the popularity of charcuterie in our lives. Prepared meat products, charcuterie, has it most famously prevalent poster-child in the form of bacon. But let me tell you, there is bacon and there is bacon.
There are also hot-dogs and sausages, forms of salami whose name I cannot pronounce, and other items that range from the mild to the put-hair-on-your-chest variety. The Peasant’s Pantry can hook you up.
On the day I decided to sample some goodness from the Peasant’s Pantry, I happened along at the same time as the guy I dubbed “Customer Paul” (based on him being a customer, and his name being Paul). Paul was enthusing about everything on display at the kiosk at the Wolfville Farmer’s Market. He described his many delightful encounters with the varieties on offer, and many that were not. Listening to him wax poetic about the genius behind the operation (a genius by the name of Joseph) was enough to inspire anyone to load up on products. I think he purchased half of what was on display, but I limited myself to three choices: bacon, hot-dogs, and the cumin sausage.
Our children, particularly our meat-loving daughter, were thrilled to be getting hot-dogs. They’re not an item that appears with any regularity in this household. I will admit the hot-dogs looked a little weird to me – they’re pale and less “firm” looking that what you see in the grocery store. They were perfectly tasty, though, and they did not give me that icky feeling I associate with hot-dogs (no doubt due to their lack of preservatives and other nasty crud that hot-dog manufacturers love to pump into their meat tubes). The kids voted with their mouths, and two thumbs up.
The bacon was far more nuanced than standard bacon fare. It was far less fatty and far more flavourful than its distant grocery store cousin. It cooked up perfectly: crisp and lip-smackingly yummy.
Finally, the sausage. Mike was only middle of the road on the flavour when we had it with crackers (I loved it) but where it really shone was in the pasta sauce he made the next day. Don’t think fatty, bulbous lumps of gristle, no, these sausages are firm and chewy and absolutely bursting with flavour and verve, dare I say. They made a homemade sauce transform from good to spectacular. I wish I had a picture!
I think there is a lot to be said for patronizing an unusual vendor such the Peasant’s Pantry. So often the prepared foods we eat have nothing good in them, and cause lots of harm. The Peasant’s Pantry is focused on locally sourced products, on excellent recipes, on superior quality, and just straight up deliciousness. Try it yourself – and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to overhear Customer Paul rhapsodizing on the many ways Joseph transforms meats into works of edible genius.
The Peasant’s Pantry can be found at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, in New Ross at their shop and deli, and other locations you can learn about at their fabulous website: www.peasantspantry.ca