James Forbes, chef and co-owner of North Country Charcuterie in Columbus, calls himself a “Salami
Swami,” and he shares a common bond with his fellow Ohio producers of charcuterie: a relentless
passion for his work.

Forbes’ interest in charcuterie was almost literally home grown – he got his start using a homemade
curing chamber he built in the mudroom of his house.

Since its founding in 2014, North Country has grown steadily. The 300 pounds of charcuterie his
family’s company produced in a week shortly after the company started is now produced in a single
day. And it’s all made with 100 percent Berkshire pork, a meat that’s beautifully marbled and
distinctively red in color.

“It’s definitely NOT ‘the other white meat,’ ” Forbes says.

Using the pork as a base, Forbes uses recipes of his own making to mix in artisanal Ohio cheese,
herbs and spices from in-state purveyors, as well as local craft beers and Ohio wine. Among North
Country’s unique products is Hoguera, a spreadable chorizo with a fiery finish. The charcuterie
maker’s “No. 1” Salami is boldly flavored with cheese from Blue Jacket Dairy in Bellefontaine,
Chardonnay from Debonne Vineyards in Madison, chopped garlic and fresh sage. Products can be
ordered online or at retail outlets listed on the company’s website, northcountrycharcuterie.com

by Rich Warren
Source: The Wine Buzz