Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest have not been saturated with charcuterie-serving restaurants, but the charcuterie that is offered in these areas is truly unique. Alaska, Washington and Oregon are all known for their long coastlines, so seafood and fresh, local produce are an essential part of local charcuterie. Salmon, King Crab, halibut, and herring can all be found as stars on a regional charcuterie platter. Alaskan salmon is prepared in a variety of ways, including smoked, cured, candied, and dried to be made into jerky. Other unusual meat choices include large game native to this part of the country such as moose, caribou, elk, or even bear.
The rich and fertile volcanic top soil of the Pacific Northwest is perfect for growing apples, stone fruits, berries, and mushrooms, all of which contribute to the unique flavors of a Pacific Northwestern charcuterie platter—which overall, takes on a less rich and fatty flavor profile in favor of sweet, salty flavors. A layer of kosher salt, sugar, nitrite, whole black peppercorns and chili pepper are the basic curing ingredients used to send a pork belly on its way to becoming pancetta. The meat is cured, but rarely ever smoked, and the sides are made with the sweet, local fares indigenous to the area. A more traditional platter might include pastrami, guanciale, Black Forest ham, white wine fennel, or salami.
Imagine an entire roasted pig sitting on a long table, featured as the main part of a decadent spread on a Hawaiian island: this is the vision many conjure when they consider Hawaiian cuisine. Hawaiian charcuterie is even harder to find. When Pigs Fly Island Charcuterie Company and Honolulu’s Salt Kitchen and Tasting Bar are two of the only restaurants or caterers to serve charcuterie platters in the islands, and the only supplier to make and sell dry-cured meats!
Their products include traditional sausage, bacon, prosciutto, salami, pate, terrines and head cheese, as well as non-regional favorites like German bratwurst, Mexican chorizo, Chicago-style hot dogs, and Korean salami with macadamia nuts. Hawaii is the exotic fruit capital of the world, so fruits like coconuts, pineapples, star fruit, avocados, kumquats, guavas, mangos and papayas make a stellar complement.