I have been very much into meat since I first got a chimney for my grill a long time ago. I’ve done all sorts and love unconventional parts or ways of cooking. I have done common things like brats, dogs, burgers, handmade veggie patties. To bigger affairs like shoulders ribs shanks even 3 lb T-bones. With all that being said I know I can’t hold a candle to the people at Driftless Provisions.
These pros deal in aged meats, mainly salamis. They have honed the craft and mastered time, salt, mold, humidity to form a beautiful mini chub of greatness. Now in the past, anything in a casing put doubt into my mind that it was natural, local, and or contained respectable meat. The ingredient list here is at max 6. All of which are familiar flavors and put you at ease that this is more of a respectful replication of the old ways in meat making. It involves science yet is beautifully simple.
All of this fermented and dry-cured and the process takes anywhere from 2-4 weeks, and throughout that time the meat halves in size as excess moisture is drawn off. All ingredients are sourced locally, frick even the box is from Green Bay, WI. They offer many different flavors, and I will touch on some.
Pork, cumin, and orange zest. Front flavor of orange that cordially invites you to the meat pork flavors which will then give away to a slight spice of cumin to finish. I would not have guessed that orange zest could really be the thing that sets the salami apart. This might be my favorite one.
I love this one because it’s a prime example of what a salami should be. Salt, pepper, and garlic. In amounts that are not over bearing but just lend a hand to help elevate the meat into being its best self.
This Italian chub is amazing in that the fennel comes first and gives way to a meaty heat that’s hard to beat.
The sweetness of the wine hits then the mace, which is also used in egg nog, to give you a spice idea and then some coriander heat for a finish. This elk is my ilk if you know what I am saying.
Charcuterie is an art form and these people are Bob Ross. They want to bring people together to enjoy food. They teach how to handle their product. On the box, they also have informational ways to pair goods on a charcuterie.
To give one a basic idea of how to do the charcute scooting boogie is you need the main components of flavor; Sweet, salty, savory, and bread of sorts. Then also the spectrum of texture a soft cheese, a jam, or spread, a cracker crunch, hard that gives way to soft centers like grapes/ berries and these here salamis.
Because I wanted dinner and not a snack, I went a little overboard on my boards and filled my island with all sorts of accouterments. The beauty of Charcuterie is it can be a tiny snack in the park. Or a massive spread that takes 45 minutes to set up. Either way, it’s meant for sharing. Anyone that’s willing to share this level of meat with me is a friend of mine.
Overall I love the mission of this brand. Keeping it local, encouraging naturally made ingredients, promoting togetherness and respect of the outdoors.
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La Crosse Local is an arts, food, and entertainment podcast and publication for La Crosse County and its surrounding communities.
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