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Who is a charcuterier?


Kent Wang
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Charcutier.

Though a distinct trade dating back to Roman times, it was given legal form in France in 1476 - with a monopoly of selling cooked pork (and raw pork fat).

However in the early 1600's they gained the right to sell all cuts of raw pork (and I infer to do the slaughtering and primal butchering).

In those days there really wasn't usually any difference between the maker and the vendor.

Oh, and during Lent (a quiet time for meat sales), charcutiers were permitted to sell seafish (notably cured herring) ...

That's what I learned on the second page of the Introduction to "Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery" by Jane Grigson.

Excellent book as an inspiration, guide and reference to tradition - but the recipes are by modern standards *very* heavy on the saltpetre (nitrate).

I think these days both producers and retailers use the term. But some still fill both roles.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Charcutier.

I think these days both producers and retailers use the term. But some still fill both roles.

You are right about this. In france, for example, most retailers who sell charcuterie make their own.

I would say it more often refers to the person who makes it than the person who sells it (for example, someone who runs a deli selling cold cuts would not be considered a charcutier, but someone who makes ham and sells it to delis would be.) Using the example provided, it's the person who "cooks" the meat (although cooking the meat does not necessarily mean cooking with heat.)

In the original use of the term, charcutiers were those who provided hot meals to workers. As such, most charcuteries include not only cured meats but cooked dishes such as cassoulet.

Edited by mikeycook (log)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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