House-made jowl bacon from the charcuterie test kitchen of RL Reeves Jr

For centuries marble miners in the Apuan Alps region of Tuscany have loaded their lunchboxes with fat hunks of bread smeared with lardo di colonnata. The process of creating this relatively obscure bit of charcuterie is simple. Fatback is sliced off a freshly slaughtered hog then rubbed with “salt…garlic…rosemary and sometimes sage, star anise, cloves, or other spices.” After a few months the fat-meat is ready for consumption. Continue Reading

2019 Scott, Louisiana Boudin Festival

The 7th annual Scott Boudin Festival is April 5-7 on Lions Club Road in Scott, Louisiana.

Scott is approximately 5 minutes west of Lafayette. The two cities have been locked in a death struggle for boudin primacy over the years with each camp having their acolytes as well as their naysayers.

We have no dog in the fight. Our boudin coverage carries us far and wide across Acadiana from Bayou Lafourche to as far north as Marksville. Scott is the “boudin capital of Louisiana” but Lafayette boasts Johnson’s Boucaniere with Wallace Johnson holding down the grinder/extruder. His family brought the very concept of commercial boudin to Louisiana.

If you go to Scott for the big boudin party please report back.

A specialty sausage that you will only find in Louisiana: Andouille sausage and crawfish

I hope I find out I’m going to die a week in advance so I can hurry over to Bavaria to visit butcher Claus Boebel who has opened the Boebel Bratwurst Bed and Breakfast, a sausage-themed hotel near Nuremberg (26 miles). Continue Reading

Our latest curing project is converting this Fudge Family Farm bone-in pork belly into bacon

Two weeks ago we drove 430 miles to visit Henry Fudge at his Fudge Family Farms up in Madison, Alabama.

We make the drive a couple times a year to purchase pork harvested from his drove of purebred Duroc hogs.

Since 1971 the old pig farmer has authored an intense breeding program that has resulted in his having the finest pork being produced in the U.S.

Don’t take our word for it. Visit any of the fine dining restaurants in the Deep South, and be prepared to pay upwards of 40 bucks for a fat, expertly prepared pork chop.

We put a 9.67lb bone-in pork belly in the cure two days ago and will have a fat slab of bacon ready in about two weeks. On to the news:

Few things are as exciting as visiting a slaughterhouse. Languedoc Lozére Viande – which was created in 1993, is a major producer of butchered meat for the great nation of France. €27.88 million worth of meat is turned over annually at the concern. Take a look at the operation: more

Writing the Modern Love column in the New York Times, Catherine Down weaves a tale of charcuterie, hope, love and loss. It’s compelling. more

It’s ham buying season. Here’s our guide more

The Kentucky State Fair began its annual country ham competition in 1964. 16 companies have won since that year but only six remain in operation. Steve Coomes breaks it down more

A big Duroc hog enjoys breakfast at Henry Fudge’s farm in Madisonville, Alabama

Would you pay right at $149k a pound for a genuine Kentucky country ham? The biggest ham auction in the USA takes place in Louisville, Kentucky in August each year to kick off the Kentucky State Fair.

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