Morgan Maki knows his meat. But Bi-Rite's butcher and charcutier is versed in more than mere technique; Maki is a meat historian, and the depths of his knowledge and passion read through in the finished product.
At last night's session at 18 Reasons, Maki kicked off the first of a series of monthly history lessons, this one focused on charcuterie. The evening started off with a sausage-making demo. Now, I've made sausage, and it's taken hours. Maki managed to produce enough sausage to feed a room full of 25 people in about 10 minutes. The man is made of magic.
After grinding, stuffing, and putting the sausage on to cook, Maki launched into a sweeping yet thorough overview of the roots and evolution of cured meats. While recognizing that cultures around the world have their own meat histories, Maki focused on the familiar European traditions, beginning with Latin roots and culminating in the much-esteemed products of Italy, France, and Spain.