Meatless Charcuterie: Charlito’s Cocina Fig Salami

VideoBy Liza de Guia on Oct 24, 2012
Post to TwitterPost to FacebookPost to DiggPost to StumbleUponPost to DeliciousPost to Reddit

“It was born out of a real fascination I have with the way foods were preserved before industrial methods of preservation. I was fascinated by the way you can take a piece of food, and with the right amount of salt, time and temperature, not only could you make it last a really long time, but you could make it taste very good.”

Meet Charles Wekselbaum, the founder and head salami maker of Charlito’s Cocina, a made-by-hand, artisan charcuterie business based in Long Island City, Queens. Charles, or Charlito (as he’s affectionately known), is a master charcutier. He is one of a handful of artisan salami makers in New York City. Yet, believe it or not, his business launched in the summer of 2011 with an entirely meatless product: the fig salami, an artisan product loved by vegans and meat lovers alike.

The fig salami was invented out of necessity. Even though Charlito spent years perfecting the art of preserving meats, New York City made it difficult for him to legally start his meat production. So, instead of giving up, he improvised. By using the same principals he applied to meat, Charlito began making a meatless charcuterie product, re-shaping figs to look like salami. It was a first, and like most first times, a lot of booze helps.

Enjoy his fun story! To try Charlito’s fig salami you can visit his stand at Smorgasburg, or check out his website to see all specialty shops and markets that carry his products.

Thanks so much for watching food. curated.! Happy Eating!



  1. Johnny Mac says:

    I’ve had this at Smorgasborg and its incredible. Loved the video.

  2. Robert Toast says:

    nice nice nice. i too have tasted fig salami and it is delicious. every gentleman should keep some fig salami in stock at all times (in my humble opinion).

  3. Spencer Gillicutty says:

    These fig must be injected with the artisan’s own lardo and fleshier offerings right on the vine. How else is charcuterie so sinless this plump with tastitude?

  4. Chris Lewis says:

    The fig salami is excellent, Charles you doing great, keep it up.

  5. Karol Grosz says:

    Charlito o Carlito? I haven’t heard about Charlito before. You seem to be doing it great. Are you on the same place?

  6. Arlene says:

    How do you make the salami out of figs?

  7. Tom says:

    Just curious where you get those vegan casings?

Leave a Reply