It was necessity that led man to cure, salt,
confit and smoke meat and fish to preserve it. Yet out of that necessity arose a luxury: The charcuterie.
Like good bread with olive oil, it is one of life’s delights. What dinner party isn’t enlivened by the early
arrival of a plate including jamón crudo, pork rillettes, liver pâté, salami, terrines, saucisson sec,
pancetta, prosciutto or trout pâté. Toronto restaurants have long recognized this, but now some are making
It is, as ever, the west that leads the way. Along Queen Street West are the city’s greatest proponents of the homemade charcuterie platter: The Black Hoof, Cowbell, Local Kitchen and Delux. Each cures, confits and smokes its own meat, but each has its own distinct creative swipe. The pork terrine at Delux is coarsely blended with rosemary, The Black Hoof has horse mortadella, Local Kitchen serves wild boar and elk sauscisson and in Cowbell the venison terrine is an unctuous pleasure.
Leah Hannon, sous chef and charcuterie expert at Delux, explains: “Charcuterie has been in the Old World forever, but now it’s becoming big in the New World.
“We’re always experimenting with new flavours and ingredients. Charcuterie is perfect for someone who is creative and passionate.”
Toronto’s Best Charcuterie Plates
THE BLACK HOOF
Alongside a highly inventive menu of offal and underused meats is an amazing charcuterie platter.
The meaty menu at Cowbell focuses on high-quality cuts of meat and interesting accompaniments on a daily menu.
One of the first restaurants on Queen Street to cure their own meats, Delux offers a charcuterie plate that includes its own fiery pickles.
Only using local farmers, the owners are obsessed with artisanal salumi-making as well as no-nonsense Italian food.