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fromage de tête

brawn or headcheese

Head cheese from Kabelvåg, Norway (Erdahl kjøttforetning)

Available in tubs in most deli counters, fromage de tête is made up of various pieces of meat from the head of a pig or boar (cheeks, tongue, etc—but not the brain), cooked with carrots, shallots, onions, and sometimes pickles, well seasoned with cloves, juniper, garlic, etc. Then it’s put in a mould with jelly, chilled and served in thick slices.

Hure is a variation—made with the tongue and skin (hure à la parisienne), while in Alsace they make hure blanche (head, skin and cured forehock), or hure rouge (packed in a red pig’s gut) and a smaller version of the same, known as hure de Francfort.

Other names you might see are pâté de tête, tête pressée, tête marbrée, tête en fromage, civier ou glacé, presskopf or tête fromagée, the latter in French Canada.


Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Danmichaelo