Plat de Charcuterie, Chez Moi

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Chris Shepherd does his own charcuterie at Catalan. I love his salami. David Grossman does his own charcuterie at Branch Water Tavern too. Don't miss his chicken liver mousse. Marco Wiles calls it salumi at his salumeria, Poscol. I have sampled products from each and been quite impressed. But it's not like I never ate any charcuterie or salumi before these talented young chefs came along.

I put together a charcuterie plate at my house for dinner just last night. My wife referred to it as a "cold cut plate." Those are my housemade Kosher-style pickles on the left. Next to them are shaved slices of an exceptional cheese and jalapeño summer sausage made by Mr. Davis at Davis Meat Market in the Fifth Ward. Davis has been doing his own charcuterie for decades.

In the center is a mortadella-style garlic bologna from Boar's Head. On the right are the slender dried venison sausages called "buck sticks" at Pruski's Meat Market in Wilson County. My brother Dave has all of his deer processed by Edmond Pruski, a craftsman who worked for many years at Baumann's market in La Vernia. Pruski opened his own place in Adkins some years ago.

He bristles when people refer to his salumeria as a gas station. "We are a meat market that sells gas," he points out. "Not a gas station that sells meat."

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