Media Spotlight – Menu Innovator® – Charcuterie and Beyond!

Media Spotlight – A monthly review with the freshest culinary insight! All of our spotlights are inspired by Menu Innovator®. For more information on Menu Innovator®, email

Our Media Spotlight found this season’s most talked about cuisines to be:
1) Asian
2) Mediterranean
3) Latin
4) American
5) Nordic

Our most talked about culinary topics included:
1) Vegetables
2) Locally Sourced Foods
3) Beverages
4) Charcuterie
5) Seafood

We recently talked about varieties of seafood, their popularity and seasonality. But who could have imagined that seafood would make its way into our next topic, charcuterie? The art of charcuterie connects our past, present, and future. Our forefathers used every part of the animal for food. Now, with the importance of sustainability and “nose to tail”, the art of making charcuterie – cured meats and seafood, terrines, head cheese, sausage, and pates – is growing. Old techniques are blended with new ones as past recipes are enhanced with the vibrancy of new herbs and spices.

Seafood Charcuterie
Although most of us don’t typically connect seafood with charcuterie, it’s actually delicious, highly flavored and locally sourced if you live by the sea. Seafood charcuterie uses fish in the same nose to tail process as meats. At the Macintosh in Charleston, Chef Jerimiah Bacon serves grouper head terrines, swordfish tartare and triggerfish bologna. Chef Erling Wu at Bower in Chicago serves tuna sausage flavored with salt, pink salt, Aleppo pepper, garlic, fennel pollen, parsley and olive oil.

Asian Charcuterie
Charcuterie crosses into Asia just as much as Europe! China, Thailand, Manila, Vietnam all have roots in charcuterie. In Vietnam, meats are steamed or boiled rather than cured, mainly due to Vietnam’s climate. One of their popular dishes, Chao Tom, is ground shrimp and pork fat molded around a sugar cane stalk. The sweetness of the sugar cane balances perfectly with the shrimp and pork. Thai influences shine at Kin Shop in NYC Chef Harold Dieterle serves a sweet herbaceous Thai Sausage, Chiang Mai, with deep fried baby bok choy, eggplant chutney and fermented yellow beans. If that’s not enough Asian influence, try the Szechuan Kung Pao cured salmons at Shelsky’s Smoked Fish in Brooklyn NY for a touch of Chinese.

Breakfast: Charcuterie and Beyond
Of course, the charcuterie most familiar to all of us is breakfast sausage and bacon! But watch out bacon! Chefs are finding alternatives to traditional breakfast strip. Strips are turning into bacon sausage and bacon stuffed bacon by stuffing pork belly. Chorizo appears in omelets giving bacon and ham a run for their money.If you are a bacon traditionalist plain and simple maple glazed donuts topped with bacon are a flavor explosion. Milkshakes are great anytime of the day. Which Wich offers a milkshake made with four slices of bacon. Opt for a bacon straw to drink it!

Charcuterie fits perfectly on tasting menus, and breakfast charcuterie is no exception. Breakfast tasting menus are the buzz. The breakfast meal itself is changing from the traditional. Asian bowls are brimming with proteins, vegetables, fresh herbs and broths. Regional tastes are highlighted and breakfast sandwiches are now creative towers. Alvin Cailan of Eggslut in Los Angeles serves a marbleized egg with tender collard greens and pancetta piled high on a homemade biscuit and garnished with mustard espresso aioli. Can you imagine starting the day with Chef Eli Kulp’s homemade Danish topped with country ham, red eye gravy and Pecorino Romano cheese? Ohhh yes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Eat well.

Culinary Systems Inc

Windermare, Florida 34786


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