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Take Your Pau Hana to the Next Level with this Charcuterie Board from Square Barrels

We dissect a typical charcuterie board so you don’t have to figure it out on your own.


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Photos: Steve Czerniak

 

A well-crafted charcuterie board can turn any pau hana into something special. But it can be a bit complicated.

 

Charcuterie comes from the French words chair (flesh) and cuit (cooked) and has come to describe a wide range of cured meats—bacon, sausage, terrine, pâté—primarily from pork. It was originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the invention of refrigeration. Today, charcuterie has evolved well beyond a plate of meats. It can be an elegant first course of a formal meal or a shareable pūpū at a casual pau hana.

 

That was the idea behind adding the charcuterie board to the afternoon menu at Square Barrels in Downtown. It’s an unexpected item at the beer-and-burger-focused joint, for sure.

 

“I wanted something that wowed the pau hana crowd,” says executive chef Sean McMonigle. “The concept was always burgers and beer only, but we weren’t going to succeed. We had to evolve.”

 

Here’s what’s on the board at Square Barrels:

1. English cheddar, a hard cheese that pairs with the cured meats.
 

2. Nuts—like these walnuts—add much-needed crunch.
 

3. Smoked gouda, a semi-hard cheese that pairs with the cured meats.
 

4. Chive-and-shallot chèvre and dill Havarti, both softer cheeses that add variety.
 

5. Prosciutto is salty, so pair this with a less salty cheese such as brie or goat cheese. This works well with fruits, too.
 

6. The vehicle: This dainty French baguette, chewy and springy on the inside, is baked with roasted garlic butter and served warm.
 

7. To add acidity, include small pickles, olives or marinated artichokes.
 

8. The house-made pork rillette is slow-cooked in its own fat and other herbs and seasonings for hours. (It tastes a lot like a fancy kālua pig.)
 

9. Seasonal fruits, like these blueberries and dates, add color and sweetness.
 

10. Thinly sliced Italian-style salami is salty and bold, balancing the subtler flavors on the board.
 

11. The house-made IPA mustard adds a spiciness to the mix.
 

12. Pickled pepperoncini—really, anything pickled—refreshes the palate after eating all those salty, fatty, rich meats.

 

$25, Square Barrels, 1001 Bishop St., (808) 524-2747, squarebarrels.com

 

READ MORE STORIES BY CATHERINE TOTH FOX

 

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