The Charcuterie Board Is Here!
We’re here! If you haven’t met us yet, we’re Owen and Matt, and we are The Charcuterie Board. TCB brings you the finest British cured meats from our colleagues at Native Breeds and Moons Green Charcuteries (and we make it with them, too!). We’re also a couple of big nerds when it comes to talking about this stuff. Or anything, really.
While brainstorming the impossible inaugural post, we decided to take a stab at why we find artisan scale charcuterie making in Britain today so engaging. For us, at the heart of this industry is a culture of respecting the past, looking toward the future, and dedicating ourselves to excellence.
Britain’s long great history of cured and cooked meats in many ways resembles that of Northern France. As in America though, Britain lost many of its food traditions to an industrialising food system after World War II. The streamlining of food production left Britain with little practical knowledge of its charcuterie past, compared to places with unbroken links to their curing histories like Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and Poland. These countries still boast a huge roster of cured meats that have been made continuously for ages. Their products are celebrated by their residents and brought around the world by their expatriates for the rest of us to enjoy.
Fast forward to today … over the last couple of decades, the study of these Continental curing practices has led to a rediscovery of Britain’s own curing past but without the shackles of conformity. In this spirit, we strive to create products using time honoured techniques, while fostering thoughtful experimentation and expressing the terroir and culture of this place that has had access to much of the world’s food ingredients for centuries.
“But you CANNOT put Indonesian Long Pepper in a saucisson”, says a Gallic traditionalist somewhere. “You will not cover that speck with coffee grounds, because you will RUIN it!” pleads the proud Tyrolian. We can and we will, especially if it’s delicious. It’s how new traditions are born!
It’s an amazing time to be making, studying, discovering and eating British charcuterie. We hope it is for you too.