"Charcuterie’s not the kind of thing you do as a side project,” says the Butcher & Larder’s Rob Levitt. Making dry-cured meats, pâtés, and terrines takes lots of patience and technical know-how. Fortunately, Chicago is home to an unusual concentration of artisans who have what it takes. Thanks to them, we’re in the midst of a full-on charcuterie renaissance. Here are some highlights, along with a few excellent locally made accompaniments.
1. Rosemary and Parmesan Flatbread from Two Figs Baking Co.
$14 a pound. Pastoral, 2945 N. Broadway
2. Speck from Nduja Artisans Salumeria
Slagel Family Farm ham is coated and aged in rosemary and juniper for nine months, then triple-smoked. $41 a pound. Eataly, 43 E. Ohio St.
3. Whole seed mustard from Windy City Mustard
$7 for a six-ounce jar. Local Foods, 1427 W. Willow St.
4. Blood mortadella from Publican Quality Meats
Studded with pistachios and guanciale, this cooked salumi gets its suppleness from beef blood. $16 a pound. 825 W. Fulton Market
5. Duck liver mousse from Danke
Before being transformed into a silky spread, the liver is soaked in milk to banish its iron flavor. $4 for four ounces. Revival Food Hall, 125 S. Clark St.
6. Coppa from the Butcher & Larder
Meat from the pig’s collar muscle is salt-cured for one week, then hung for three months and finished with black pepper, coriander, and fennel. $30 a pound. Local Foods
7. Dilly beans from River Valley Farmer’s Table
$8 a pound. 1820 W. Wilson Ave.
8. Spiced beets from Hinton Cannery
$10 for a 12-ounce jar. Lakeview Kitchen and Market, 3109 N. Broadway
9. Wagyu bresaola from West Loop Salumi
Eye of round gets seasoned with salt, pepper, rosemary, and lambrusco and aged for 110 days. $5 an ounce. 1111 W. Randolph St.