When you mention bar food or pizza most people tend to think of mass produced lager. This is more because of this is all we had known for most of our lives, not because it is a perfect choice. On the other hand if I were to begin to talk about a Bavaria and bier gartens or even Oktoberfest your mind will switch into overdrive and start pulling up images of bar maids, huge tankards of beer, and of course sausages of various kinds.
Though charcuterie is not a word many are familiar with, sausage in its various forms is something easy for most of us to understand. We could take it a step further and begin speaking about pate, BBQ, or even the one we always think of for home cooking, meatloaf. (quick question: what is the difference between pate and meatloaf? price per pound) You see, charcuterie is the art of food preservation. It is most often though in relation to animal products but there is still quite a bit of good vegetable preservation techniques that would make even vegans salivate.
Michael Ruhlman got together with Brian Polcyn to collaborate on a book about Chacuterie (of course the book bears the same name). Chef Polcyn has spent much of his professional time promoting traditional methods of charcuterie in his restaurants and in his home. The collaboration was a perfect match.
In our return to traditional preparations of foods and drinks, finding books like this, that help promote such traditions, are a great find. Instead of relying on factory processed foods of unknown chemical origin, taking full control of what goes into your foods lends a strong hand to taking back your life.
For me personally, this is a book that holds a space in my working book shelf. It is used not only as a reference but as a working recipe book. This is where such recipes as the macrobiotic sauer kraut, that is a staple in our home, comes from. These are the foods that our favorite beverages were born to pair with.
Time for a pint...