For a piece of meat
As charcuterie boards, a pastiche of prepared cuts, slowly start replacing their cheese counterparts, chefs discuss the platters they have put together
Cooking is a process so steeped in chemistry, that all foods are essentially experimental, even if our minds are inclined towards considering only those dishes that are covered in a plume of smoke. Just take a look at the advent of charcuterie — the school of cooking that is likely to have emerged out of the pantry when garde manger chefs, who helmed meat and dairy larders where these products were stored before the days of refrigeration, began playing around with cold cuts, since the preservation processes would lend a unique flavour to the meats. Then, they started pairing them with fun condiments like cheese, crackers and jams, and voila, we got the charcuterie board.
Now, they are slowly replacing their better-known cousin, the cheese board. So, we invited city chefs to give us the lowdown on their favourite boards.
Beer-y good meat
“Boards can be shared and they go well with beers,” shares Hansel Baptista, chef at a Powai brewery. “Putting a charcuterie board together involves choosing the right meats and pairing them with condiments that complement the beers or wines,” he adds. Here, the board (Rs 700) features three types of meat (black forest, parma ham, pork meatloaf or pork salami) that are paired with onion fig jam, basil pesto, sherry-marinated tomato and truffle honey.
At: Crafters Tap House, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai.
Time: 12 pm to 1.30 am
Available at this diner only during the apertivo hours — an Italian ritual that entails pre-dinner dinner drinks along with salty snacks — the charcuterie board (Rs 1,350) is made up of three types of meat along with In-house-marinated and stuffed olives, cheese and crostini. Some of the cuts used for this range from mortedella and parma ham to salami milano. Speaking about the treat and why it’s becoming popular, chef Daya Singh tells us, “It works because there are an assortment of items for people to eat, while you’re drinking and it gives you something to munch on.”
At: CinCin, Raheja Towers, BKC.
Time: 5 pm to 8 pm
Use it all
At this diner, the charcuterie board (Rs 895) comprises nduja-style chicken pâté, dry-aged pork pepperoni and dry-cured-and-aged pork gabagool. “Supply of quality meat is difficult to find in Mumbai. By using all parts of the meat, we make our offerings unique, yet sustainable. Charcuterie belongs to an era when consuming popular cuts of meat was a luxury. We see retailers serving imported deli meats, but not hand-crafting them locally. We hope to change that,” chef Siddharth
At: The Boston Butt, Pali Hill, Bandra West.
Time: 6 pm to 1.30 am
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