Your Guide to Salami’s

 

The growing popularity of do-it-yourself charcuterie boards has sparked new interest in understanding the vast world of salami’s. What makes prosciutto different from genoa or soppressata? This guide breaks-down the differences so that you can create your next display like a pro.

Soppressata
An Italian dry salami, Soppressata is made from pork. Natural flavours such as black pepper, cumin, red pepper and chili peppers (in Hot Soppressata) are added to the meat. The meat undergoes an aging process which can last between 30-100 days. Soppressata delivers an intense, sometimes hot taste.

Genoa
Genoa salami is an uncooked, cured sausage that was originally made in Italy with pork and seasoned with garlic, peppercorns and red wine.  A softer salami that originated in the Genoa region of Italy, it is often a favourite when served as an appetizer.

Prosciutto
An Italian dry-cured ham that is typically thinly sliced and served uncooked. Prosciutto is heavily salted and left to cure for 2 months in a cool, controlled environment. Prosciutto can be served alone or wrapped around sweet foods like melons or dates.

Cervelat Salami
One of the most popular salamis sold in our deli. Cervelat is a dry-cured salami made of a blend of pork and beef. Tangy and smoky in flavor, yet still mild. Perfect for those with sensitive palates.

Hungarian Salami
Also known as Winter Salami, this meat is made from pork, then cured in cold air and smoked slowly. Up until the 1950’s, Hungarian Salami could only be made during the winter months, as the curing process requires constant cool air. The smoky flavour pairs well with cheese and wine.

Photo Credit: © mayabuns – Fotolia.com

 

The Dutch have several unique traditions. Beschuit met muisjes is a delicious treat served to family and friends celebrating a baby’s arrival. Hofstede’s Country Barn carries all the products you need to make your own Beschuit met muisjes.

Beschuit is round, crispy biscuit created from twice-baked bread which gives it a crunch with every bite. Beschuit is sort of like a thick crusty cracker. Muisjes are tiny sugar coated aniseeds, and the word Muisje translates to ‘little mouse’. Some people think that the ” mouse” association came about because when the aniseeds are dipped into the sugar mixture a little  mouse-like “tail” forms around the stalk. Typically, the blue and white muisjes are served when a boy is born, and pink and white are served when a girl is born. Special orange muisjes were released for a limited time when the daughters of the Crown Prince of the Netherlands (Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange) were born!

If you ever visit a newborn baby in Holland, you can expect to be treated to beschuit met muisjes! This tradition is very much on-going, and older siblings get in on the fun by bringing beschuit met muisjes to school when a younger brother or sister is born. Expect to see this treat pop-up in our store when we celebrate the birth of Richard and Tera’s first grandchild!   

 

 “I guess we were young and we wanted an adventure.”

Meet Doutzen – vibrant head of the Hofstede’s family and co-founder of Hofstede’s Country Barn. Doutzen and her late husband Roelof moved their family to Canada in 1981 and opened the store in 1997. Many of you are familiar with their story – the early years spent shuttling fruit between Chilliwack and the Okanagan for weekly markets. What you may be less familiar with is what life was like for the young Hofstede’s family during their first five years in Canada.

We asked Doutzen to share some of her experiences from the early days of their arrival, up to the opening of Hofstede’s Country Barn.

Why did you and Roelof decide to move to Canada?

Everyone always asks me that. I think that when we visited Ontario in 1976 for the Olympics we really enjoyed our trip, but we never discussed moving there. Then, we visited British Columbia in 1980 and fell in love with it. BC is such a beautiful place, and we moved in 1981. I guess we were young and we wanted an adventure.

How has Chilliwack changed since you arrived?

People in Vancouver used to say to me, “Chilliwack, that’s where the highway ends”. There was a perception that Chilliwack was a little town in the middle of nowhere. Chilliwack was definitely a lot smaller – I remember there being very little traffic between Abbotsford and Chilliwack. The city has definitely grown over the last three decades.

Did you always plan to start your own store?

No, not really. The first couple of years we spent in Canada were really tough. In Holland, I was a Home Ec. teacher and Roelof was an accountant. Then we moved to Canada and I began cleaning houses. We also both worked on farms for a little while – we were just working odd jobs wherever we could to pay the bills. Eventually, Roelof starting bringing fruit back and forth between Chilliwack and the Okanagan, and the weekly markets and the store grew from that. It wasn’t an easy beginning, so it’s amazing to see how the store has grown into what it is today.

BC Watermelons

Locally grown Okanagan fruits are simply one of the reasons I love visiting this part of British Columbia! In June, there is a harvest of fresh fruits; including different types of cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, lots different types of apples, pears, nectarines, grapes, and of course melons. Growing watermelons have become very popular and require dry, hot temperatures in order to ripen. You’ll know a watermelon is ripe when you tap it and hear a hollow sound. Another indication is when the tendril nearest to the fruit is dry. Watermelons should always be cut from the vine, not pulled, as they may tear.

There are two types of watermelons in the Okanagan. The first is the Diana watermelon which is a smaller melon with a darker-pink flesh. Because of its size, its grows quickly and only weighs about 2 lbs. The second most common watermelon is the Northern Sweet watermelon. It is a full-sized, grows in about 85 days, has a darker-green outer shell and a red-orange flesh.

Did you know watermelons are best served on the BBQ? This concept was hard for me to wrap my head around. Why would I put a big juicy wet watermelon on a hot flaming BBQ? Well the outcome is pretty delicious and brings a touch of fun to your summertime BBQ’ing. Check out the recipe below. We carry everything you need at Hofstedes Country Barn; including balsamic reductions.

Grilled Balsamic Watermelon by Daniel Huang

  • 1 watermelon into cut into 8 slices 1-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 10 basil leaves,
  • salt and pepper

Bring vinegar to a boil in a small pot and continue to boil until vinegar is reduced to 1/4 cup – about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.Preheat your grill to medium high heat.Cut your watermelon into 8 1-inch thick wedges with rind. Gently press the watermelon with paper towel to soak up some of the excess water. Cover one side of the watermelon wedges with olive oil before placing them oil-side down on the grill. Brush the top side with oil. Grill over high heat for about 3 minutes on each side, or until grill marks have formed. Remove from heat then drizzle on the balsamic reduction and remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and scatter torn basil leaves over top.