Inside Charcuterie Week: Alligator, bento boxes and more

Charcuterie Week kicks off today, so lets get on board with what exactly this meat phenomenon entails with a look at what a few local eateries are preparing in their kitchens.

Over at Mixtli (5152 Mccullough), Chef Diego Galicia will be creating speciality bento boxes with candied citrus peel, pickled watermelon rind, xonocostle jam, chorizo, terrine of butifarra chiapaneca, house baked bollios, huitlacoche butter and duck liver paté with Mexican vanilla geleé. The bento boxes are $20 and can be ordered online here.

Galicia explained that his intention behind the bento box was to add Mexican flare to a normally European practice. The pairing of items in the box combines salty and sweet and nutty flavors with vanilla, Galicia simply said that "it just made sense."

While giving us a brief history lesson on the ancient artform of charcuterie, Chef Michael Sohocki of Restaurant Gwendolyn (152 E Pecan), who co-founded the event along with Defining Delicious, also gave us a tour of what he will be dishing during Charcuterie Week.

Sohocki will work on wowing your taste buds with a mortadella, which he described as a "pork forced meat" with finely and coarsely grounded pork mixed with a blend of spices including pistachios, mustard seeds, green olives and pepitas. Other things on the board, so to speak, include his cacciatoré, the bresaola and more. 

Pieter Sypesteyn of Where Y'at Food Truck (609 S Alamo) decided to take a different approach to the charcuterie challenge by implementing flavors that are common to the Louisiana region. 

The truck will unleash its ragin' Cajun flavor with a variety of boudin sausages, inspired by the Big Easy. Some items on the menu include alligator boudin, traditional pork boudin and red blood boudin, among others.

Chef Jeff White of Boiler House (312 Pearl Pkwy) let us in on their menu that includes chicken galantine, pork and shrimp shumai, foie gras, veal sweet bread and chicken garfunkel, which uses a blend of parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme.

At The Fruteria (1401 S Flores) you can find margarita tequila-cured salmon, chorizo verde y mariscos, chicarrón prensado, carne seca (NOT BEEF JERKY) with chile y limón, along with an array of fermented fruits and other house specialties. 

Chef Zach Garza explained that although much of Mexico's charcuterie was inspired by European practices, it's the native flavors of Mexico that heavily influence its meats compared to those found in Europe. 

Rosella Coffee Co.  (203 W Jones) will be offering a Vegan-friendly option with pecan porcini, mushroom carpaccio, cashew herbed cheese, beet tartare and walnut chorizo with eggplant bacon. The charcuterie plate can be purchased for $20, starting today at 3 p.m. 

Charcuterie Week will also feature delicacies from Barbaro, Crossroads Kitchen at Faust Tavern, Cured, Il Sogno, Lüke, The Monterey,  Arcade Midtown Kitchen, Starfish RestaurantHotel ValenciaJohnny Hernandez’s El Machito, Big Hops Gastropub, Biga on The BanksHot JoyThe Granary 'Cue & BrewThe Sandbar Fish House, Tre Trattoria and The Luxury.  

To find out more about Charcuterie Week, visit the Facebook event page here.

Just a little sample of what patrons can expect from Restaurant Gwendolyn during Charcuterie Week.

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