Charlito’s Cocina: Hand-crafted Charcuterie

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Charles worked a desk job Monday-Friday and had an interesting weekend hobby: meat. He loved food and the process of curing meat. So, on a Saturday, you'd find Charles creating slow-aged, Heritage Breed pork salami seasoned with hand-raked, solar -evaporated sea salt from Guatemala. ...

Starting off, he took his cured meats to New York farmers markets. He’d sell 25 lbs. Then 50. Now he’s ditched the office work and devotes his time to making 6,000 lbs. of salami a month.

He and six employees do a little bit of everything needed to produce the traditional air-dried meat that you will find on Central Market shelves in the Deli.

Charles explains that to make an amazing salami, the meat and the salt you use are extremely important. And he prides himself on using clean, sustainably produced ingredients from folks who take their work as seriously as he does. So he uses Heritage Breed pork, including Berkshire and Cheshire White, that are never given antibiotics and fed a vegetarian diet. And the sea salt is hand-raked in the sun with nothing else added or stripped out to interfere with the pure flavor of the salami.

Their best selling salami is Trufa Seca, the Dry Truffle Sausage. The pasture-raised pork is seasoned with black truffles  from the famous Abruzzo region of Italy, in addition to the pure, hand-raked sea salt. “This one likes to be the star of the show,” explains Charles, suggesting Burrata cheese and Riesling or a sparkling wine like Cava or Prosecco as a perfect date night trio.

These artisan cured meats will also make great additions to cheeseboards for football parties this winter. Look for Charlito’s Cocina meats in the Deli and see how few, pure ingredients really make a difference in the robust flavoring of cured meats.