What is charcuterie?
Those pretty meat and cheese boards you see all over social media are a trend that actually originated with meat spreads in 15th-century France. The definition of charcuterie is “the culinary art of preparing meat products,” according to The Organic Kitchen. Charcuterie was actually developed out of necessity — it’s the way meats were preserved long before refrigeration came about.
How is charcuterie pronounced?
Pronounced shahr-ku-tuh-ree, the word “charcuterie” is French for “pork butcher shop.” The more you know!
Charcuterie boards are trending online and on social media, and for good reason: They’re pleasing to look at and even more satisfying to eat. As a party appetizer option, meat and cheese boards are extremely versatile. (For vegetarians and vegans, charcuterie boards these days don’t necessarily have to include meat or cheese, FYI.)
What makes charcuterie boards so ideal is that they can be completely customized for any occasion or celebration, big or small, and you can put virtually anything on one. Here, you’ll find answers to all your charcuterie questions, plus tons of unique charcuterie board ideas for you to try out the next time you host — from festive platters that will feed a crowd at Christmas, to simple spreads for two that make the perfect starter for a romantic date night dinner.
Craving even more inspiration? Check out our picks for where to buy the best charcuterie boards and serving accessories online, plus Instagram accounts to follow for step-by-step tutorials, fresh ideas, and pictures that will have you making heart eyes for days. What are you waiting for? Let’s get into it.
YIELDS:8 – 10 servings PREP TIME: 30 mins TOTAL TIME: 30 mins
8 oz. Gruyère cheese, sliced
8 oz. Roquefort cheese, sliced
1/4 lb. sliced mortadella
1/4 lb. sliced Genoa salami
1/4 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto
1 apple, thinly sliced
4 oz. caramelized pecans
1 package thin breadsticks
1 bunch Concord grapes
1/2 c. Castelvetrano olives
1 recipe marinated mushrooms
1 recipe spinach-artichoke dip
8 oz. feta cheese
Garlic chile oil, for drizzling over feta
6 oz. Gouda, sliced
1/4 lb. soppressata, sliced
1 bunch Champagne grapes
1 package Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps Cranberry and Hazelnut Crackers
4 oz. Fig spread
6 oz. manchego cheese, sliced
1 package Everything crackers
- Arrange cheeses on 3-4 medium-sized serving boards.
- Set out small dishes for olives, marinated mushrooms, spinach-artichoke dip, spicy feta, and fig jam.
- Arrange meats alongside cheeses, folding some slices and fanning out others.
- Fill in the empty spaces on and around your boards with fresh and dried fruit, pecans, breadsticks, and crackers.
- Don’t forget to set out toothpicks, serving spoons, and cheese knives for guests to serve themselves.
What should be on a charcuterie platter?
Along with the traditional cured meat, the addition of paired cheeses and accompaniments like fruit, nuts, olives, and spreads are common in restaurants that serve charcuterie boards. Here’s what you’ll find on a traditional charcuterie board:
- Cured meat
- Fruits and Veggies
- Jellies and jams
Pro tip: Using a bunch of smaller boards instead of one big one means you can move servings around to feed a crowd.
Brunch Charcuterie Board
Keep the party going in the morning with a next-level brunch! Arrange mini pancakes and waffles, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, sliced avocado, sausage, and fruit on a platter; blueberry sauce and cinnamon maple butter spread (combine 1 stick unsalted butter at room temp with 3 Tbsp maple syrup and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon) round out the tray.
Article by Jamie Kravitz for Women’s Day. There are more boards to browse at the link below: