Introducing: Hogtown Charcuterie, Kensington Market’s new spot for prepared meats
It’s no secret that pig is big right now. The aptly named Hogtown Charcuterie, in Kensington Market, offers a wide selection of hand-cured and smoked meats predominantly of the pork variety. Hogtown’s owner, Pawel Grezlikowski, began practising the art of charcuterie 10 years ago as a hobby. After a year of successfully selling his products at farmers’ markets in the Junction and Davisville, he decided to take the plunge and set up a standalone shop in the space that formerly held the short-lived Mr. Cream and Easton’s Charcuterie.
The Hogtown’s homey storefront stands out from its heavily graffitied neighbours. A roll of butcher paper in the store’s window announces the day’s special, and playful red gingham curtains liven up the interior’s stark clean lines. Using high-quality meats supplied by Mennonite farmers, Grezlikowski crafts an intriguing assortment of meat products, including kimchee sausages ($9.99 per pound), country-cured bacon ($9.99 per pound) and bacon jam ($10), as well as several pâté and terrine varieties, including the best-selling lamb terrine with pistachios ($8). Grezlikowski has also indulged his passion for pickling with the Fermentation Station, a pickled vegetable bar, which features kimchee ($1.20 for 100 grams), fermented carrots with coriander ($1.20 for 100 grams) and blue cheese–stuffed olives ($1.75 for 100 grams).
For the market’s lunch crowd, Grezlikowski serves pulled pork waffles ($6.50), jalapeño cheddar bacon rolls ($3) and arugula salads adorned with dates, bacon, honeyed walnuts and goat cheese ($4.25). Sandwiches, like the pickle-topped corned beef tongue slider ($4), are all served on freshly baked bread from Petite Thuet. And while there’s currently nowhere to sit on a lunch break, a bar for in-store snacking is in the works.