I Wasn't the Only One Who Went Hog-Wild at Charcuterie Masters


Rodrigo Duarte of Caseiro é Bom slicing some pata negra (with his little helper). All photos: © tablehopper.com.


The bountiful table at Caseiro é Bom.


A cute meat man from The Meat Market with their faux pho.

There are some events you simply cannot miss, and that was entirely the feeling I had when I first heard about Charcuterie Masters, hosted by NY Epicurean Events. And since it was being hosted at Flushing Town Hall in Queens, it felt like a subway adventure too!

I was excited with the prospect of learning about local charcuterie and salumi makers, all in one spot. The most exciting table for me was Caseiro é Bom, a Portuguese shop in Newark that I can’t wait to go visit. Owner and butcher Rodrigo goes through 30 hogs a week, and when you see the vast array of meats and products, you’ll understand why. He is a man obsessed. His table was positively overflowing in product, and he wanted you to taste it all. Sure, okay—if you insist.

His pata negra was astounding, aged 36 months (and the only pata negra in the U.S.!). He raises his own animals on a farm in New Jersey, and the rich flavor in his jamón says these animals are raised with exquisite care. He’s going to be adding 10 purebred black Iberian pigs to his farm as well, as soon as they make it out of quarantine. Read more about this amazing butcher here. I can’t wait to head over for more of his chorizo alentejano!

The folks from Dickson’s Farmstead Meats in Chelsea Market offered a tasting plate of their rich mortadella, herbaceous and silky headcheese, and my very favorite, their ham! Going back for a quarter pound of that—am already envisioning it on a baguette with some butter! And they’re also a great butcher shop, highlighting artisan meats and sourcing from sustainable farms in New York.

My friend and I went bonkers for the freshly made pâté from Ridgewood European Pork Store—so glad I was able to bring a chub home, that stuff was gold, with perfect texture, seasoning, and flavor. I love that the owner suggested it on a plain bagel for breakfast. Now we’re talkin’.

Some other favorites: the culatello and coppa Calabrese from Møsefund Farm, the nation’s largest Mangalitsa pig farm; the spicy soppressata from Oui Charcuterie; the full lineup of meats from Great Barrington’s The Meat Market, but especially their bresaola-like “faux pho” with pho spices. I also cracked up over how much ‘nduja people are making—was great to see the ‘nduja and finocchiona from ‘Nduja Artisans there, the makers of my favorite domestic ‘nduja!