As the nights become darker, wetter and colder turning to a glass or two of red wine and a plate of artisan charcuterie is a pleasure all its own. However, the term charcuterie has evolved over hundreds of years. It began as salted or smoked pork and recently any meat and cheese platter seems to be referred to charcuterie. Meats, cheeses, vegetables are smoked, salt cured or brined into an intensely flavored smorgasbord of sausage, pates, pickles, breasts and hams.
The number of local artisan charcuteries has increased dramatically in the past few years and here are a few top locations throughout the province for you to explore and savour.
The Refinery, Granville, Vancouver
A modern and stunning setting at this market style eatery. Charcuterie is cured on and off site and includes a variety of delicious treats. Great wine list and craft cocktails too! www.therefineryvancouver.com
La Charcuterie, Surrey
Best place in town for Dutch, Finnish and Norwegian charcuterie. Smoked fish and meats, sausages and pates are available along with other Scandinavian sweets and condiments. Check out their amazing deli sandwiches pilled high on fresh bread. www.thebestdeli.com
Choux Choux Charcuterie, Victoria
Local whole hogs from Qualicum beach are used to create cured bacon, hams, coppa and porchetta and duck breast. Smoked sausages include Fuet Catalan( smoke,garlic,paprika) and Saucisson Apero ( herbes de provence). They use only natural casings for the sausages and all the pates are gluten free. Choux Choux also features European cheese and other side dishes. Cute store front and well worth the visit. www.chouxchouxcharc.com
Salted Brick, Kelowna
A new artisan restaurant by chef Jason Leizert. Wonderful house made cranberry venison salami and Beef Carpaccio. Charcuterie plates also include savory cheese and pickles and relishes. www.saltedbrick.com