New meats from our good buddies at Olympic Provisions arrived this week.
Located in Portland, Salumist Elias Cairo set out to approach the craft of charcuterie with purity and patience, recreating a nearly extinct traditional technique that is seldom seen in America. The result is Olympic Provisions, Oregon’s first USDA-approved salumeria, established in 2009, deeply rooted in the past.
Charcuterie is as much an art as it is a science. Olympic’s approaches it with inspired precision. All of their cured meats are encouraged to age naturally and slowly without being hurried, hot-incubated, cooked or irradiated. This uncommon technique assures a finished product that has deep, nuanced flavor and exquisite texture.
The arrivals include Pork Rillete (tender hand chopped pork shoulder slow cooked in pork fat with warm baking spices of ginger and thyme), Pork Liver Mousse (rich and creamy mousse of pork liver, slightly sweetened with Port), Pate with Pistachios (country style pork pate is made with fresh herbs and pistachios) and Sweetheart Ham (These little gems are made from pork sirloin tips that are brined with juniper berries, fresh herbs, fresh garlic, and fresh onions for 7 days, and then smoked over apple wood for 9 hours).
We also received a cool little cheese from the maker of Bent River Camembert. Good Thunder is a washed-rind square and the newest cheese from Alemar in Minnesota. Loosely inspired by Reblochon, it is washed in Surly Bender beer, cultures and salt. The cheese is washed weekly for three weeks, during which time the wash soaks in slowly, producing an alchemy of flavors between the two. Someone described it as “Bent River’s stinky little brother.” Good Thunder is a small town not far from Alemar Cheese.