A Glimpse at Charcuterie - From What It’s All About to Why It’s So Popular

Insert every jaw-dropping, mouth-watering, heart-eye emoji here. Charcuterie is one of the trendiest food movements on the menu today. Take one look at a charcuterie board and you might just decide your next career goal or expressive hobby is to be a self-proclaimed charcutier.

Well, consider yourself on your way. First, let’s start with the basics.

Complete charcuterie arrangement on a wood serving board with brie, salami, and granny smith apples

What is Charcuterie?

To the tune of “My Favorite Things,” The Sound of Music

🎵Big wooden cheese boards and meats on a platter
Soft and sharp cheeses with flavors that flatter
Adornments in green with dried fruits and nuts too
This is a glimpse of charcuterie food🎵

Here’s how we see it: charcuterie is beauty and deliciousness expressed together on a serving board designed for the purpose of bringing people together around simple but elegant food.

More technically speaking, charcuterie can be defined as the culinary art of preparing various cured meats and presenting them in diverse ways.The word “charcuterie” is a French term for a line of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, primarily from pork.

But today, charcuterie has become synonymous with wooden boards piled high with meats and tasty accompaniments such as cheese, produce, crackers, toast, artisan bread, and dips or sauces.

How Do You Say It?

You can certainly make a show-stopping charcuterie board without actually knowing how to say it, but wouldn’t knowing how to pronounce it make you feel one step closer to a class-act charcutier? Its French pronunciation, “shar-coo-tree,” differs slightly from its English pronunciation, “shar-coo-tur-ee.”

Whichever pronunciation you choose, let it roll off your tongue and make your guests feel top-notch.

Where Did Charcuterie Originate?

Charcuterie is a culinary art developed from necessity—it’s the way meats were preserved before refrigeration in order to extend shelf life. The practice of salting and smoking meats to preserve them dates way, way back. Some sausage recipes even date back to the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The term “charcuterie” was coined in France in the 15th century when pigs were raised by virtually every household and shop owners weren’t allowed to sell uncooked pork.

Today, meats are still prepared this way because, let’s face it, the flavors from the preservation process are simply ahh-mazing. 

A group of friends gathering around a wood table to enjoy a meal together outside

Why is Charcuterie a Thing?

Whether you think of charcuterie as the adult form of Lunchables, or you think of it as the most beautiful type of party platter you’ve ever seen, charcuterie has become increasingly popular and is the perfect outlet for creative food influencers or wannabe Joanna Gaines party hosts.

Avid foodies and casual dinner hosts alike can enjoy the sense of community a shared meal experience provides. American restaurants are including charcuterie on their menus because the colors and products you can include on the boards are captivating and irresistible to consumers.

So go big and holiday-themed, or keep it small and intimate. Wipe the rule book clean and pair or contrast flavors to excite the taste buds of your guests. There are essentially no limits, so pick your budget and have fun with your easy-to-assemble-and-enjoy, show-stopping feature of the table.

Where Do I Start?

Now that you know the basics of what charcuterie is, how it began, and the benefits of having a charcuterie board at your next gathering, it’s time to start planning your first board.

Don’t worry though, we have plenty of advice to help you along the way. Check out our next article on The 7 Main Components You Need To Build A Jaw-Dropping Charcuterie Board.

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