Best Local Charcuterie 2016



Pork is king around these parts and while cold cuts are particularly popular towards the year-end holidays, King’s has theirs available to celebrate every day the entire year round. Their hams are given the royal treatment of their proprietary curing and seasoned with spices to give delicate ham flavor. Sixty years of serving quality and the affordability accords it this title. They deserve their name.



“Basta hotdog, Virginia!”, so pegs their product tagline. Tender and juicy may be another more prominent brand’s identity but Virginia’s Cebuano babies are giving them a run for their money by hitting both points but with less of the salty finish. While kids can tell with the forerunner, both they and the adult market can with Virginia’s, too.


tudings-chorizoTuding’s began as a humble home enterprise with the Pampanga-native namesake’s own take on the traditional Filipino chorizo. The closely-guarded recipe yields compact, sausage-shaped chorizos bursting with savory pork flavor and spicy punches of paprika with a sweet-salty glaze finish. Having initially taken the office delivery circuit, this soon became quite the dark horse in supermarket chillers and the byword among housewives. This one’s posthumous but a recognition Tuding definitely had a long time coming.



Ultimately it’s the umami. The pleasant savory taste. Then there’s that base of the meatiness from the pork and the combination of the flavors from the fat brought out by salt and the sweetness from the curing liquid. There’s also the caramelization from the frying, and as most like it, the crunch and maybe a slight bitterness from burnt edges. All these pervade the tasting regions of the tongue and it’s the delicate balance thereof that makes it a cut above what are already generally bests.

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