Specialty Food Magazine

MAY-JUN 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 63 of 103

and pasture-fed animals has never been greater, Roth maintains, "the first thing customers ask for is to taste something delicious. That's what people will pay a premium for." Matern agrees that in his customers' minds, quality is still the most important factor. With passion for the craft and technical know-how at an all-time high, even among start-up producers, the quality is indeed there. DIY Charcuterie Heather Bailie, director of operations at Fatted Calf Charcuterie, Napa, Calif., has seen interest in the "how-to" of charcuterie produc- tion inflate along with sales. "When the owners started doing this in 2004, there were only a handful of people making small-batch charcuterie," Bailie says. "Today, it seems like every restaurant has an in-house charcuterie program." The much-acclaimed Fatted Calf started receiving a steady stream of resumes in 2007; Bailie devel- oped a stage program to accommodate all the people who wanted to learn her trade. More and more specialty food and butcher shops have jumped into the business themselves, developing in-house charcuterie pro- grams. Julie Biggs, charcutier at Formaggio Kitchen, Cambridge, Mass., sees a sales boom overall in the cured-meat department— imports, too, but the real interest is in the house-made charcuterie. Her production has tripled in the past few years. "The charcuterie consumer is hugely interested in where the meat is from and how the animal was raised," Biggs says. "We can answer those questions because we made the product." "I would love to see how the sales of sausage-grinding equip- ment have increased," says Ariane Daguin, owner of cured-meat supplier D' skyrocket as a result of the do-it-yourself charcuterie movement. "We used to only sell the middle meats, but today small restaurants and shops are buying all the other parts of the pig to make their own rillettes, terrines and head cheese. We've had a huge surge in raw heritage and Berkshire pork." The Pig Next Door The locavore meat trend went into high gear in 2006, says Tanya Cauthen, owner of Belmont Butchery, Richmond, Va., with the publication of Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma—the same year Cauthen opened her shop, whose 4-foot charcuterie case now contains more than 120 offerings. Enthusiasm spilled over into char- cuterie roughly two years ago. "The common-man awareness of food has increased logarith- mically," Cauthen says. "There has always been a locavore com- munity, but when the general populace became aware, it [had] cre- ated major demand for the kinds of meats and charcuterie we sell." Belmont Butchery, which Cauthen describes as "a full European break-down butcher shop," has developed a charcuterie program Artagnan, Newark, N.J., who has seen her raw-meat sales From top: Schoolhouse Kitchen Squadrilla Chutney, D'Artagnan Smoked Duck Breast, Formaggio Kitchen Duck Pastrami "Smoked duck breast and duck prosciutto are really growing, and merguez— spicy lamb sausage—has emerged as a best seller, particularly for the growing market that doesn't eat pork." that relies entirely on local animals, often heritage breeds. Aside from the environmental and feel-good aspect, this increased focus on super-fresh local meat results in a better end product. "I really let the pork shine through and don't hide its flavor with much spice or other flavors," Cauthen explains. Formaggio Kitchen's Biggs claims it's actually made her job easier. "My char- cuterie recipes have gotten much simpler," she says, "as I focus more on the meat and minimal seasoning." It makes good business sense, too, says D' Artagnan's Daguin. "We don't import much meat because the regulations are so strict and it is so expensive to get it here. We try to source as closely as possible to home for economic and environmental reasons," she says. Daguin makes some exceptions, such as Berkshire pigs raised by farmers at the foot of the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. "The land there lends itself to pig farming exceptionally well and there is a long-standing tradition there. I'm not going to ask my Amish MAY/JUNE 2012 57

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