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Charcuterie


Charcuterie (/ʃɑːrˌktəˈr/ or /ʃɑːrˈktəri/; northern French: [ʃaʁkytˈʁi] or southern French: [ʃaʁkytəˈʁi], from chair "meat" and cuit "cooked") is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork.

Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef's repertoire. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes.

The French word for a person who prepares charcuterie is charcutier, generally translated into English as "pork butcher". This has led to the mistaken belief that charcuterie can only involve pork. The Food Lover's Companion, however, says, "it refers to the products, particularly (but not limited to) pork specialties such as pâtés, rillettes, galantines, crépinettes, etc., which are made and sold in a delicatessen-style shop, also called a charcuterie." The 1961 edition of Larousse Gastronomique defines it as: "The art of preparing various meats, in particular pork, in order to present them in the most diverse ways."



  • The Culinary Institute of America. Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen. 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. .
  • McGee, Harold. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004. .
  • Ruhlman, Michael and Polcyn, Brian. Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2008. .
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