Half-Shepherd Market & Cheese Shop

Half-Shepherd Market & Cheese Shop (Photo/Erin Schilling, eschilling@randb.com)

Half-Shepherd Market & Cheese Shop will host its first charcuterie basics class of March called “Pleased to Meat Me!” on Sunday, March 1.

A charcuterie is a prepared spread of cured meats with different types of cheese, fruit, bread or crackers. Though the artisan shop itself specializes in cheese, the class will largely focus on the styles of cured and cooked meats and wines that can be paired with each spread.

Every month, Half-Shepherd holds a cheese basics class taught by owner Fritz Gibson. The class includes five different cheeses and five different wines that pair well together. The shop likes to occasionally add a “non-cheese class” into the mix — the charcuterie basics class will follow the same basic structure, with a different (and non-vegetarian) focus, Gibson said. Gibson plans to do a charcuterie class every three months at Half-Shepherd.

“In the ‘Pleased to Meat Me!’ charcuterie class, we will be tasting prosciutto, cured ham, salumi, duck confit, mortadella and other preserved meats paired with five wines,” Gibson, who will be leading the class, said. “It will be very similar to our cheese basics class, except with meats.”

“The class is very fun. You learn about science, history, geography, terroir — the taste of the land — and methods of food preservation,” said employee Lydia Doyle, who helps assist classes with Gibson at Half-Shepherd. “My favorite meat that will be in the class is our soppressata black peppered salami.”

Doyle said the “very conversational” class is focused on the technique of cured meat and how curing technology has changed over the years.

The “Pleased to Meat Me!” class is an intimate gathering with 18 people, just enough room for everyone to have a wine glass and a plate for meat tasting, Gibson said.

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