What is Charcuterie?
The word charcuterie originated in France in the 15th century and translates to “pork butcher shop.” A traditional charcuterie is a place like a delicatessen that sells cured pork products and meats such as salami, hams, sausage, and pate. In today’s world, charcuterie means “preparing, assembling, and artfully arranging cured meats with cheeses, fruits, vegetables, crackers, or bread.”
Before refrigeration, preserving meats by smoking and curing was an essential part of life to ensure food didn’t spoil. What was once a necessity has evolved into a popular appetizer item for many restaurants.
As grocery stores expand, it is even easier to get the ingredients needed to create the ultimate grazers paradise of our own for dinner parties, game days, and holiday get-togethers!
To create a crowd-pleasing charcuterie board, you’ll need a combination of the following staples:
Build your Board
When creating a gorgeous charcuterie board, you’re limited only by your imagination. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, consider one of these tasty combinations to get your creative juices flowing:
Sweet and Savory Board:
Meats: Prosciutto, Volpi Prep Coppa, and Peppered Salami
Cheeses: Fontina, Havarti, French Brie, Blueberry Goat Cheese
Nuts:Almonds and Cashews
Fruit: Grapes and any kind of berries, such as strawberries and blackberries
Crackers: Try playing with different flavors like garden herbs, rosemary, garlic, or anything sea salt.
Meats:Roast Beef (thinly sliced), Hard Salami, Prosciutto
Cheeses: Gruyere, Sharp Cheddar, Roquefort
Fruit: Bartlett Pear, Honeycrisp Apple, Grapes, Dried Figs
Bread/Crackers:Water Crackers, French Baguette
Sweet: Local Honey, Sour Cherry Preserves, Raspberry Jam
Meats:Pepperoni, Salami, Prosciutto, Hot Ham or Capicola
Cheeses:Parmesan, Asiago, Provolone
Veggies: Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Red Peppers, Mixed Pitted Olives, Peppadew or Hot Cherry Peppers, Marinated Mushrooms
Bread: Focaccia - toasted and sliced
Sweet: Good quality Olive Oil or Spicy Honey for drizzling