Some couples “practice” for children by getting a dog; my husband and I are evidently “practicing” with charcuterie (tr. “cooked flesh”), the art of making sausage, bacon, terrines, and cured meats.

Like preparing for a child, charcuterie requires:

  • a manual — an authoritative cookbook instead of a parenting tome
  • items that the uninitiated would never have lying around the house — pink salt laced with nitrates, pork fat, chicken livers, and sheep intestines instead of diapers, a crib, or baby formula
  • unsolicited advice from one’s parents, such as my father’s words to my husband — “you are not permitted to give my daughter botulism”
  • a long lead time while you wait for the cure (or the baby) to reach maturity
  • friends to pawn the baby/pâté off on, from time to time
  • endurance to finish eating the baby, I mean, side of corned beef

With our dangerously tempting manual in hand, and a supply of pink salt just arrived by mail, my husband and I have embarked on a journey into curing that can only end with home-made prosciutto.

Charcuterie is Like Child Rearing…
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One thought on “Charcuterie is Like Child Rearing…

  • May 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I was just thinking about making about this yesterday. I happened upon a really nice store-bought salami and, as I savored every sliver I could shave off of it, I began to wonder how tedious a project it would be to make my own version.
    I have no formal culinary experience to boast of, but I love to cook and to play with food (I have recently become obsessed with growing varieties of chile peppers; some of which I procured by having seed smuggled from the Amazon rain forest via a doting relation there for a geological survey).
    I am curious to find out how these kind of things work from a home-based perspective. I look forward to any continuances you might prospectively submit. Thanks very much for sharing!

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