Hunting for a holiday gift for the cheese and charcuterie lover in your life? Check out our online cheese gift shop for cheese and cured meat packages, kitchen gear, and even home cheesemaking equipment and classes.
We’ve offered a cheese subscription service for a while now—and now we’re making it even better! Our new subscription includes even more gourmet goodies for you to enjoy with your favorite American specialty cheeses—including cured meats!
Our Cheese Subscription Box
Cheese Grotto's Monthly Cheese Subscription is the easiest way to try new and exciting American artisan cheeses from all over the country. Each box features 3 luscious wedges that we ship straight to your door. For a complete tasting experience, you can add on crackers and a trio of gourmet goodies—including chocolate, olives, and cured meats—to get a complete tasting experience.
Best of all, the subscription is flexible and customizable based on your cheese preferences and dietary needs, so you'll always be able to enjoy everything in your box. Sign up here (or give one as a gift).
We’re so excited to share these amazing American-made types of cured meats with you! But first, we had to do some research to find ethical artisan producers who meet our strict standards for quality and sustainability.
How We Chose the Best Artisan Cured Meats for Our Subscription Box
Aside from great flavor, we ensure that the cured meats in our subscription box program adhere to our standards for sustainability and ethical production. We also support makers who are keeping heritage breed animals and traditional foodways alive by using them in their production.
Lucky for us (and you), products that meet these criteria have a good chance of tasting amazing, too.
Sustainable Cured Meats
Sourcing sustainably made charcuterie and local cured meats can be a challenge, but the producers we source from take care to minimize their environmental impact by sourcing from independent farms and cooperatives—not factory farms of CAFOs (contained animal feeding operations), which damage air, land, and water.
Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals
The producers we’ve chosen to include work directly with farmers to ensure that the meats they process aren’t just more sustainable, but also ethically raised. While each company is different, the types of practices they use include:
- Working with third-party auditors like Animal Welfare Approved or Global Animal Partnership
- Raising animals on pasture where they can roam and forage freely
- No artificial hormones or antibiotics
- Vegetarian and grain-free feed
Charcuterie From Heritage Breeds
Before the mid-20th century, farmers and breeders raised animals to develop traits like flavorful meat or extra-rich milk. As agriculture industrialized, many of these heritage breeds fell out of favor as traits like size, quick growth, and milk volume were prioritized over flavor.
One of the best ways to keep these rare heritage breeds in existence is to encourage farms to raise them. Our charcuterie and cured meat brands seek out heritage breed pigs like Tamworth, Iberico, and Berkshire—not only because their meat makes for a better product, but also because these unique breeds give us a taste of the food traditions these ancient recipes come from.
Regional Cured Meats Made With Traditional Recipes
One thing we love about cheese is that it connects us to the past—literally and figuratively. Most cheeses must spend weeks, months, or years aging to peak ripeness. Many of our favorite cheeses are made using production practices—like using raw milk or aging on wooden boards—similar to those used hundreds or even thousands of years ago.
The same is true of our favorite cured meats. Fermentation is quite possibly the oldest food processing technique, and the recipes our producers use have roots going back millennia. The makers we source from are continuing and perfecting these traditions for the 21st century.
The Best Cured Meats and Charcuterie
These are some of the different types of cured meats we’re sourcing for our new subscription boxes.
Lady Edison Cured Ham
If you’ve tried our Artisan Cheese Tasting Box, you’ve had one of our favorite products: Lady Edison Extra Fancy Country Ham, made from cured pork pasture-raised on North Carolina farms.
Think of this smoky, buttery cured ham as an American take on Spanish jamon—what some say is the best cured meat in the world. It can be eaten straight from the package on a cheese board or crisped in a pan and served on a fluffy biscuit.
Cristiano Creminelli’s family made cured meats in northern Italy for centuries before he moved to Utah and founded the company in 2006. This Good Food Award-winning producer sources pasture-raised pork from U.S. farms for their uncured artisan salami, which comes in varieties spiked with ingredients like red wine, fennel seed, whiskey, and black truffle.
Red Bear Provisions
This Chicago-based small-batch cured meat producer uses traditional recipes to produce both pork and types of cured beef salami in Italian, French, Spanish, and Eastern European styles. The meat they source is vegetarian-fed and free of hormones and antibiotics.
Master salumiere Greg Laketek sources heritage Duroc and Berkshire pork for his line of uncured salumi, which includes sopressata, cured coppa, ‘nduja, cured duck breast, and Wagyu beef bresaola. Their source farms in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Texas, and New York raise animals with vegetarian feed and no antibiotics or synthetic hormones.
Founded in 1902, Missouri-based Volpi makes all kinds of salumi and cured meats, including prosciutto, sopressata, chorizo, salami, bresaola, and Serrano ham. They’ve developed sustainable and humane sourcing criteria through their Raised Responsibly program, which includes third-party animal welfare audits, a ban on gestation crates, feed that’s primarily vegetarian, and humane harvesting practices.
A fellow woman-owned business, Alexian specializes in rich, flavorful pâtés and smooth, spreadable mousses made from hormone-free, antibiotic-free duck, chicken, turkey, pork, veal, and even wild pheasant. They produce vegan and vegetable pâtés using ingredients like eggplant, mushrooms, tomato, artichokes, and roasted peppers, too.
La Quercia Cured Meats
La Quercia cured meats, like prosciutto, salami, pancetta, and guanciale, are produced in their Iowa salumificio—so founders Herb and Kathy Eckhouse figured the heritage breed pigs they source should be, too. They work with farmers who raise pigs with access to pasture in low-stress environments where they can do all the things pigs love to do—root, forage, socialize, and play.
What are your favorite types of cured and uncured ham, meats, and charcuterie? Tag us @cheesegrotto on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and let us know!