bolzano meats: charcuterie school
Scott Buer’s mustache is a thing of wonder – a sturdy handlebar with a chin puff. This is the type of facial hair that a hairless Asian boy can only dream of. His expressions and teaching style, like his mustache, are bold and gregarious.
His Riverwest workshop is set in an old brick 1950s factory building across from a Walmart. The building was a former milk company and more recently the home of Great Lakes Distillery.
On the weekends, Buer runs a “Charcuterie School” for a small group in which he explains the basics of how he makes his products. His two-man (err, man and woman) company, Bolzano Artisan Meats produces artisan cured meats like pancetta and prosciutto.
The “school” starts and ends in a small front room outside of the main facility. The tour itself was nice, but the refrigerated room for the drying was empty as he was transitioning to a new product (shhh, they’re going to start making salami!!).
The greatest treat, as anyone could guess, is tasting all the products at the end. After coming back from the tour, a platter of pancetta and proscuitto was sitting out. The pancetta is special eaten as is. The fat melts leaving the soft taste of garlic, a bit of salt; at the end it leaves a sweet flavor and a hint of juniper. To the side sat a whole leg of Paletilla Húngara waiting to be cut into.
Throughout the class, Buer compared Bolzano’s to a micro-brewery and in that way the “Charcuterie School” is not so much a class on curing meats, but a brewery tour complete with tasting. Either way, it’s fun and the meats are just as compelling as the mustache.