Among the rolling hills of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, farmers and chefs work together to preserve the time-honored art of charcuterie. With humble beginnings dating back thousands of years, charcuterie (pronounced “shar-ku-tuh-ree”) refers to the preparation and presentation of cured meats and meat products. Often paired with an assortment of accompaniments that complement the meats, such as cheese, jams, fruit, and crusty breads, and served on a wooden board, charcuterie has found a home among the purveyors of farm to table offerings in the Berkshires. Hence the Berkshires Farm & Table Charcuterie Trail emerges as a wonderful way to while away an afternoon when visiting the western part of the state. Lucky for our guests, many stops along the trail are within easy reach of the Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast in Sheffield, MA.
Moon in the Pond, 816 Barnum St., Sheffield, MA
Amble down a dirt road in Sheffield, MA to discover a small farm with a mission to raise food naturally and to share that experience with visitors. Call ahead to arrange a farm tour, or delve deeper into the farming lifestyle by applying for an apprenticeship or short-term volunteer program. Featured products include a wide variety of cured and smoked pork products.
John Andrews: A Farmhouse Restaurant, 224 Hillsdale Rd., South Egremont, MA
Fresh and seasonal are the hallmarks of this unique establishment, featuring the talents of chef/owner Dan Smith. Smith has a long history with local farmers and a passion for producing a “taste-of-place” menu. Belly up to the bar here to feast on lamb pancetta and duck pate rillettes.
Prairie Whale, 178 Main St., Great Barrington, MA
Although the menu changes daily at this farm-to-table restaurant, rest assured that whatever you are served will be fresh and local. Among the highlights of their charcuterie board are house-made terrines, pates, prosciutto, and guanciale, an Italian cured meat prepared from pork jowl or cheek.
Raven & Boar, 11 County Route 34, East Chatham, NY
This family owned and operated farm located just across the border in New York, raises heritage pigs in small herds that are free to forage in open pasture. Meats are made available to local butchers and restaurants that feature charcuterie on their menus. You’ll also find them at local farmer’s markets in Stockbridge and Lenox.
Chez Nous, 150 Main St., Lee, MA
Featuring an assortment of house-made pates and an extensive cheese board, Chez Nous chef, Franck Tessier, grew up learning the intricacies of preparing exquisite pates at the hands of his mother. Among the carefully curated charcuterie items offered are smoked salmon and smoked duck, housed-smoked bacon, pancetta, and cured meats.
Check out the Berkshires Farm & Table Charcuterie Trail website for a complete list of participating vendors. And while you’re at it, visit us at Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast for more great ideas for where to sate your appetite in the Berkshires.