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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

When Pigs Fly Island Charcuterie Co.

Clockwise from top left: pastrami, guanciale, black forest ham, white wine fennel salami

Aside from smoke meat, Hawaii is lacking in charcuterie. Island-made charcuterie from locally-grown animals is practically nonexistent, except at a few restaurants such as Salt. That's why the Big Island-based When Pigs Fly Island Charcuterie is so exciting. It's the only Hawaii producer to make and sell dry-cured meats such as salami, pancetta and guanciale (dry cured pork jowl). Devin Lowder, the charcutier behind When Pigs Fly, doesn't limit himself to Italian techniques, though. He also makes fresh sausages such as German bratwurst, Mexican chorizo and even a Chicago-style hot dog made with Big Island beef.

Lowder, who has been in the restaurant industry for almost 30 years, says he's been interested in charcuterie since he learned it at the progressive, farm-to-table New England Culinary Institute in Vermont. Then, four years ago, "I looked around and realized no one was really doing charcuterie here. It was an epiphany," he says, one that compelled him to start a business around sausages and cured meats.

He sets up at farmers markets on the Big Island (Keauhou and the Waimea Homestead Market), where people clamor for his bacon and black forest ham, cold-smoked and aged for four months. He also creates unique, island-flavored products, such as a Korean salami and a saucisson (a French dry sausage) made with mac nuts. All his meats are made with Yorkshire and Hereford pigs from Ahualoa Hog Farm, and the grass-fed beef comes from Hawaii Beef Producers.

When Pigs Fly ships to Oahu via overnight delivery on Aloha Cargo. To place an order, check the menu at

Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


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