There's a lot of meat to be found at Muncan, the venerable Queens pork and charcuterie store. The air, perfumed with cured and smoked meat, promises luscious and explosive flavors. Though it originally catered mostly to the local Romanian and Serbo-Croatian populations, the family-owned company has grown to produce a variety of charcuterie from a wide swath of Eastern European traditions. A triumvirate of garlic, salt, and black pepper defines their products, though others spices, such as paprika, are by no means uncommon.
"Being a butcher, it's is all I have known my whole life," Tima Muncan, the company's grandfatherly founder, explained. "When I was young, my grandfather told me that I needed to learn a trade. He said that food was the profession to get involved in because no matter what happens in life, no matter how times change, people will always need to eat...I've been doing this every day since I was 14, and I still love it. All these years, I eat our products everyday—and I still love them."
For the unfamiliar, figuring out exactly what you want to buy can be a bit like playing "Where's Waldo?" with drunk goggles. "Double smoked bacon? Lamb copa? That ... what is that?" To make things easier for you, we've put together this guide, which features all of Muncan's bacons as well as our other favorite products. But this is really just a start—there's much more there, waiting to be eaten.
Muncan Food Corp
4309 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11103 (map)
6086 Myrtle Avenue, Ridgewood, NY 11385 (map)
About the author: Chris Crowley is a former Serious Eats intern and the author of the Bronx Eats column. You can follow him on twitter here, or pay a visit to his new food blog, Sound Bites, over on Wordpress.