Our Kimpton Staycation actually had a dual function: we’d wanted, of course, to stay at our gorgeous new hometown Kimpton, the Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, but we’d also wanted to try out the charcuterie at the hotel’s restaurant, The Commoner. We thought they’d be a perfect fit for our 2015 Charcuterie Face-Off.
A little history: we’ve been meaning to try head cheese for a solid two years, ever since we wussed out on trying it at Root 174 during a previous Pittsburgh Restaurant Week. It went off the menu there shortly after our chickening, and it’s surprisingly hard to get around town.
By the way, if you don’t know what head cheese is…well, it’s not cheese. It’s basically a meat jelly made from head meat (not brains or eyes) and other animal odds-and-ends (think feet, heart, etc.) that don’t look good as a steak or chop. It’s all blended up, flavored with spices and vinegar, bound in gelatin, and served cold.
…Okay, when you describe it, it might sound a little grody, but Fox and I were still pretty psyched about trying it. How did it taste?
I’m happy to report that it’s really delicious! It’s fairly salty and sort of like a terrine or pâté in flavor and texture. It’s also quite savory, but not overly so; if you like savory foods, but think bone marrow is too in-your-face savory, you’ll probably love head cheese. It tastes good with cheese and works especially well as a spread on toast…
So consider us to be big fans of head cheese. It was a creative addition to an already-very-nice charcuterie board…which we’ll be writing up as our next post! Come on back and see how the head cheese fit into the overall charcuterie picture.