Categories: Products, Review

A French Charcuterie Playdate (Product Review)

Charcuterie spread for a happy-hour playdate, with meats from Les Trois Petits Cochons

Disclosure: Les Trois Petits Cochons sent us samples of this product free of charge. All opinions are honest and our own (also: unpaid).

Daily life at EYW headquarters has changed quite a bit since we’ve had kids. Gone are the wide-open days (and nights) for tackling website and other freelance work; the hours at the gym; the eons of minutes available for deciding what to do for dinner. Now it’s a juggling act of babysitters and preschool; working during naps, squeezing in playground time, and scrambling to make dinner while keeping the crawling baby safe (from both his older brother and himself). An occasional respite during that hectic after-school time is a magic thing called the happy-hour playdate: Invite over some mom-friends from the building, let the kids entertain themselves (or snooze, depending on age), sip some wine, relax. If only for a few moments.

So when Les Trois Petits Cochons offered to send over some samples of its handcrafted pâtés, mousses, terrines, sausage, smoked meats, and other French specialties, I accepted: We are a pretty hungry family of four, my kids like to eat, and hey—we’ve got neighbors, too! Good thing, as it was a generous sample, and definitely the kind of stuff that invites a party. (Except for the duck confit leg—a beloved food in this home—and the chicken sausage with spinach and Gruyère…those will be dinner one night soon!)

Pates, terrines, sausages, duck leg confit from Les Trois Petits Cochons.

The saucisson sec with herbs de Provence, the wild boar pâté (with pork and chicken liver), the three-layered terrine des trois rois (Armagnac-marinated prunes, chicken and duck foie gras), the mousse truffée (pork and chicken liver mousse with truffles), the cornichons—these just begged to be shared. I supplemented with some cheese, baguette, and crackers; my friends brought the wine. We skipped the playground after school in favor of a little “French party,” as my 3-year-old called it. I taught him how to say merci beaucoup on our walk home, which he mastered and then promptly forgot the moment his two besties showed up to play.

The spreads were rich and decadent. Over this and another tasting party a week later, the mousse truffée emerged as a favorite: super creamy, earthy, and luxurious with truffle. The wild boar pâté had a nice chunky texture, and a bit of sweetness from the raisins it contained—this one my son came to prefer (the aspic along its edges, however, elicited an “eww, yucky”). The foie gras terrine is as rich as you would imagine, certainly one to taste and savor in small doses, with a pleasantly sweet, boozy flavor from the brandy-soaked prunes on the bottom. The dried sausage and cornichons, naturally, were the clear winners with the toddlers, who gobbled them and the Brie up so quickly we had to move the platter out of their reach.

And then there was wine. The wine was good.  

It’s safe to say we’ll be doing this sort of playdate again. In fact, we still have leftovers; the meat spreads stay good in the fridge for seven to 10 days. Who’s in?

Toddler boy eating charcuterie.
Bedtime snack

Les Trois Petits Cochons products are available in grocery stores and specialty shops across the U.S.; its full inventory is online here.

Published On: June 24, 2016

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