One of the great things about living in Columbia County is all the amazing food artisans and farms that make up our local economy. Since 2012, Jack Peele has been handcrafting charcuterie at Jacuterie on Herondale Farm in Ancramdale. He uses meat that’s been raised with care on pasture, and blends it with spices to create global flavors. We spoke with him to discuss the craft and get ideas for the perfect holiday charcuterie platter.
Can you tell me a little bit of the history of Jacuterie? What led you to the fresh and cured meats business?
We are located at our family farm where we raise grass-fed Beef, silvopastured pork, as well as pastured lamb and chicken. Our family is originally from the UK, and Jacuterie was started with the desire to create traditional and high-quality European styles of cured meats and fresh sausages from our meats.
What goes into crafting your flavors?
Some of our inspiration comes from memories of flavors we have had while living or traveling in Europe. Other inspiration comes from stories of flavors that other people bring back from their travels, but we always are researching and discovering new styles and flavors from all over Europe (and beyond!) which pique our interest.
What makes your meats stand out from other artisan meats?
All our sausages, salamis, and cured meats are made by hand in small batches. We research in depth every flavor we make, and we source all the spices and ingredients to make the highest quality meats we can.
If you could give someone just two of your products, which two would you go with?
I would always want somebody to try one of our Charcutiers Reserve Salami (either soppressata, or Saucisson Provencal) and then some of our fresh sausage.
How would you incorporate your meats into a holiday meal?
Every year during the holiday season, we make two seasonal specials. The first is our Black Truffle Salami, which is an excellent addition to any charcuterie board. Additionally, our “Stuffing Sausage,” which is our seasoned loose sausage mix, makes the perfect base for any stuffing.
What do you see as the biggest challenge meat producers face these days?
Our biggest challenge actually has been trying to keep up with the quantities and demands of consumers, who seek out high-quality meats more often these days. Our challenge is to meet the demands and quantities while still maintaining our commitment to sustainability and quality.