Good Stuff Cheap: 11 selections for a kick-ass and low-cost charcuterie plate

Good Stuff Cheap: 11 selections for a kick-ass and low-cost charcuterie plate

House-made prosciutto ($3.69 per 100 g) from Masellis is sweet, buttery-soft, tender and rich, with a hint of porky barnyard—and much more affordable than the ones at boutique grocers in York­ville and Summerhill. Homemade hot capicollo ($2.69 per 100 g) is equally economical: salty and beautifully marbled, with a spicy heat that creeps up on you. 906 Danforth Ave., 416-465-7901.

At Brandt Meat Products’ factory outlet, thuringer blood sausage (99 cents per 100 g) is a mildly spiced steal, studded with white cubes of bacon fat.

Kuhne extra-hot mustard ($2.69 for a 250 mL jar) from Germany cuts through the sweet fattiness of the pork; it’ll warm you up from the inside.

Smother the mustard and stack the meat on pretzel buns (89 cents each). 1878 Mattawa Ave., Mississauga, 905-279-4460.

Harbin-style smoked pork sausage ($4.13 for a 300 g pack) from T&T has a snappy casing, with a light smoke and garlic flavour.

Lap-xuong—bite-sized Chinese cocktail weenies—are luscious, porky-sweet and remind us of bacon, with a hint of star anise and maple ($4.63 for a pack of 11). 222 Cherry St., 416-463-8113.

Visit Rami’s Market for spicy, lemony olive salad and wrinkly, black, sweet Moroccan olives (both 99 cents per 100 g) from the 20‑item, self-serve olive and pickle bar. 2000 Lawrence Ave. E., 416-757-1111.

At Arz Fine Foods and Bakery, tangy, minty, Mediterranean meat- or veg-stuffed vine leaves ($2 per 100 g) are just as tasty as their Greek cousins, dolmades.

Walnut delight ($3 per 100 g) suspended in sweet jelly is delicious with prosciutto. 1909 Lawrence Ave. E., 416-755‑5084.

Loconte Meats and Deli’s Cacio di Fossa ($9 per 100 g), literally “cheese of the pit,” is made from sheep’s milk and aged in underground caves. The ultra-chic delicacy tastes like a sharper, richer parmigiano-reggiano and is a draw here; one downtown boutique charges $11.50 per 100 grams. While you’re there, pick up some Boschetto di Tartufo ($8.90 per 100 g), which is out-of-this-world delicious, with substantial specks of black Italian truffle.

Roasted figs stuffed with walnuts or almonds and glazed are $13 per one-pound package. Perfectly sweet, made for cheese and champagne, and just the thing to round out your board. 736 Wilson Ave., 416-636-8988.

(Image: Christopher Stevenson)

Good Stuff Cheap 2011 articles: