Local Prosciutto Tasting Affair

The first (of two) Ad Hoc at Home winners is announced below!

Local Prosciutto Tasting Affair
A part of Foodbuzz’s 24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Posts Event

The brisk Fall air springs to life upon my arrival to my favourite shopping destination, Granville Island. A festive Public Market situates in this artistic and vibrant oasis.

It is also home of Osake, our local artisanal sake maker where I picked up several bottles to pair with the evening’s tasting social.

Although I know the Market’s layout like the back of my hand, I was helplessly distracted by all the shiny treats as I cruised through.


I tasted and picked up several blocks of cheeses…

and some jewel- like olives (after tasting some more)…

and finally arrived at my destination: The Porcine Shrine.

Oyama Sausage Company boasts to be makers of the best sausages, hams, and patés for five generations. They are the definitive meat artisans whose success is built upon the honest farm-to-table principle.

Practically, it means pure salts and spices, “slower growing, pasture-raised heritage breeds”, and bypassing the middle man. The result is an exhibit of superb charcuteries that attracts buzzing swarms of locals and visitors alike.

Speaking of distractions, my mind wandered towards the array of tantalizing meat products.

FOCUS! You’re here for Prosciutto, I reminded myself.

I picked 7 varieties strictly by name and description so I could try them for the first time with my friends.

oh and I caved… I also picked up a slab of pickled headcheese :)

Friends were greeted by a glass of cold sake as they trickled into the loft.

The nibbling and mingling began around the round table. Guests were provided with pen and paper to take and compare notes.

Wine from my latest favourite local winery, Road 13 (Oliver B.C.), flowed abundantly while the aromatic sake cleansed our palettes between meats.

Curious to see what we sampled?

Get the flash player here:

My notes:

  • Speck– Slightly smokey and acidic, clean and fatty but not oily. Bacony.
  • Mountain Herb– Dense texture but mild in flavour. Herb permeated gaminess with an ashy tone.
  • Wild Boar– Quite salty. Complex and deep fermented flavour.
  • Lardo– The “toro” of land; extremely indulgent. Surprisingly toothsome. Infused with thyme.
  • Duck– Phenomenally supple texture. Intense, lingering aroma.
  • Garlic– Straight forward andclean tasting but not nearly garlicky enough.
  • 2 yr. Grand Cru– A tad too salty. Dryer texture with a forward and lasting aroma.

My favorurite was the duck for its tender texture and acute duck flavour. Unsurprisingly, I was also blown away by the Lardo’s amazing pinguid qualities.

My previous post on Charcuteries has useful tips on how to entertain painlessly and glamorously. This evening, I chose to compare different versions of meats under one Charcuterie family but the possibilities are endless.

I challenge you to throw your own chorizo, sausage, ham, salami, paté, or bacon… affair <3

Ad Hoc At Home Winner #1



Congratulations, Angela of! Meat pie is an ultimate comfort food; I love how juicy gravy and flaky pastry combines with the comfort of steaming veggies and meat. I appreciate how you attempted your mom’s soul- warming recipe and shared it with us.

“Out of everything my mom makes, the single most comforting food has always been a beef and bean pie in pastry. The beef is shredded, flavored with herbs (like a beef stew) and then accompanied by limas, and other beans, carrots, onion celery. When you get a bite of the beef, the beans and the pie crust, there is no describing the feeling of home, satisfaction, flavors and you will undoubedly eat way more than you should. My blog post never did it justice.” – Angela


All other entries, don’t despair! Thanks to the generosity of Thomas Allen & Son, I will announce a second winner on Monday. Stay tuned!

  1. October 25, 2009 by Divina

    Oh wow. Do you know how much I miss Granville Island? Very, very much. Actually words are not enough to express how I feel when I saw this post. I want to get inside the computer screen passing through Granville Island and maybe stay in Vancouver. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to.

  2. October 25, 2009 by Darina

    Suddenly I have the urge to go to Granville Island. Great photos.

  3. October 25, 2009 by shokutsu

    Hi, any chance this GI visit was yesterday morning? As I saw a few avid photographers snapping shots all over the place, including at Oyama’s stand. I too thought of picking up some of the exotic Prosciutto, but fell back to the more standard varieties. Thanks for the tasting notes, this will encourage me to try next time!

  4. October 25, 2009 by Tangled Noodle

    I realize this post is about prosciutto but I spotted smoked beef tongue and pickled headcheese – I would’ve loved to try those! What a marvelous place and a great 24, 24, 24 post.

    Congratulations, Angela – enjoy the book!

  5. October 25, 2009 by The Italian Dish

    Great photos, Mel – I love Granville Island. Very special place.

  6. October 25, 2009 by Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

    Wow – Sounds like a fabulous event for the Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24. That actually would have fit well with my Italian themed dinner party for this month’s 24, 24, 24! When I was in Boston last spring, I took an Italian market tour and we got to taste various kinds of prosciutto and other meats and cheese. It is soooo fabulous!

  7. October 26, 2009 by Miriam/The winter guest

    I love the name… Porcine Shrine, wonderful! :-)

  8. October 26, 2009 by Emily

    Your market looks fabulous. Congrats on a great night of food! I also participated in the 24^3 event, and it was a lot of fun.

    Gorg photos!

  9. October 26, 2009 by Alta

    Wow, this market looks AMAZING. And I’d have trouble focusing on purchasing just proscuitto too! Wow. Yum.

  10. October 26, 2009 by Jessica

    What an awesome night for food. I’m loving that market, we have something very similar to that here in NYC and It’s very hard to stay focus because they have a variety of wonderful food items. congrats on the 24 event :)

  11. October 26, 2009 by The Duo Dishes

    The notes to ‘focus’ are hilarious! It’s so easy to get side tracked in these types of places. You created a really upscale tasting menu!

  12. October 26, 2009 by megan

    Wow , I didn’t know there were so many different kinds of Prosciutto. What a great theme you did. Great post!

  13. October 26, 2009 by noobcook

    What fun to sample so many various types of Prosciutto … and I’m glad you went out of focus a bit because the photos are great :)

  14. October 26, 2009 by Cookin' Canuck

    You managed to bring back wonderful memories and make me intensely homesick in one fell swoop. How I miss Vancouver and Granville Island. Your prosciutto tasting was a brilliant idea and the samples looked so tempting.

  15. October 27, 2009 by Renée

    Isn’t a tasting at Oyama fun? After lunch at Fuel, my friend joined me for a little Granville shopping trip during my visit 2 weeks ago. I stopped by to pick up a number of items for a charcuterie plate (picked up 9 items) I wanted to create when I returned to Toronto and sampled nearly 25 items. :) We joked about bringing a glass of wine next time. Fun times indeed.

    The best, I agree, is the duck proscuitto. If you get the chance the truffle salami, finocchiona (with fennel), merida and saucisson sec de provence are also worthwhile.

  16. October 27, 2009 by HoneyB

    What fun! I too did not know there was so many types of Prosciutto! I am learning so much from the food world!

  17. October 27, 2009 by Natasha - 5 Star Foodie

    Wow, that’s a lot of different kinds of prosciutto! Fabulous 24,24,24 post!

  18. October 28, 2009 by Nastassia

    I miss Granville so much! I’ve only made one visit to Vancouver but it was so memorable! This was a really lovely post and your party looks like a lot of fun!

  19. October 30, 2009 by Geof

    See, this is the kind of thing I envision as my ideal future: living in a foodie town, complete with artisans running their own little one-of-a-kind food shops, and equally obsessed food enthusiasts, always hungry for more. And a loft party, centered around prosciutto-tasting? Completes my dream.
    I enjoyed reading your post, as usual. (: Can’t wait for more from you; take care!

  20. November 17, 2009 by Timeless Gourmet

    Oh, how I wish I had a market like that even remotely close to where i live. Just beautiful, thanks for sharing!

  21. February 27, 2012 by Chesco

    MY #1 FAV FOOD!#2) Duck Breast
    #3) Mussles
    #4) Imported Fresh Provolone Cheese

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