Crested Duck Charcuterie, Pittsburgh, PA

Crested Duck Charcuterie, Pittsburgh, PA

Writing and eating in: Pittsburgh, PA

The Pittsburgh Public Market is full of wonderful goodies from fresh food to art to prepared food. Just inside the front door is Crested Duck Charcuterie whose deli case is filled with local meats cured using traditional 15th century methods. I had the privilege of lunch from Crested Duck at the most recent Lunch and Learn hosted by Farm to Table and the American Healthcare Group, Inc.

I was excited to have lunch from Crested Duck because I’ve been eyeing the case of goodies since my first trip to the public market last September. The experience was exactly what I hoped for and even more.

Meats

Kevin at Crested Duck makes a variety of charcuterie goods. Charcuterie is  form of preserving meats that dates at least from fifteenth century France. There are a variety of ways to preserve meats and many of them appear at Crested Duck from bacon to pate to confit.

I tried the rabbit rillette. A rillet is similar to a pate, but is simpler to make. It was originally a peasant food made traditionally from pork. It tends to be slightly coarser than a pate with a meatier flavor and fewer ingredients. The rabbit rillette is a fancy look and a rustic taste. It is creamy with a layer of silken fat on top. It was spiced lightly with garlic, which complemented the flavor of the rabbit.

I also tried the duck breast prosciutto. I love prosciutto and I’d been reading about the duck prosciutto in Michael Ruhlman’s book, so I pretty much had to try this. It was lightly salty and quite supple. It was oilier than a pork prosciutto, but not enough to deter me from eating it. According to the Crested Duck website, they also make a lamb prosciutto and a goat prosciutto. I’ll be trying those eventually – oh, yum!

Cheeses

Crested Duck sells several cheeses from small cheesemakers. At Kevin’s recommendation (I asked what would pair well with the meats I chose), I tried a cheese called Julianna from Capriole Farmstead Goat Cheeses. It was a soft, smooth cheese, fairly mild with a light tangy undertone at the end. The rind was earthy and just slightly chewy like the rind from a good camembert.

Other goodies

Crested Duck also sells crackers, bulk olives, preserves, and flavored nuts to pair with his meats and cheeses. A scoop of mixed olives and some crackers made my meal from Crested Duck complete. The other goodies make it very easy to assemble a picnic from one stop at the public market (though you’ll probably want to look at the other stalls anyway).

Would I go back?

Yes. I think I already said that above, but it’s worth repeating.

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