Whether you are already tired of them or not, charcuterie boards are not going away soon. What is a charcuterie exactly? Essentially it is an array of snack-type foods, placed on a serving tray, wooden board, or even directly on the table! Charcuterie boards are ideal at parties, for an intimate date night, or even just to make an otherwise dull meal a tad more exciting. You may not go to a buffet but you can have a buffet for one or many at your house in the form of a charcuterie board!
What is Charcuterie – History of the Charcuterie Board
So, what is charcuterie? Charcuterie comes from the French terms chair, which means flesh, and cuit, which means cooked. Essentially when talking about charcuterie you are actually referring to cured meats. This term was used to describe shops in 15th century France that sold products from pigs, from salted meats to pigs’ internal organs. The first charcuterie boards consisted of offal (pig intestines) and other meats.
As time went on cured meats, cheeses and other accompaniments that make up a charcuterie board came into play. Now, various cultures and regions have all had their own twist on a charcuterie board, adding in regional cuisine. What is charcuterie is different depending on where you live around the world.
France was the birthplace of the charcuterie board and to this day still produces some of the best. However, there are charcuterie boards all over the world that rival the OG. Now a charcuterie is not defined just by its cured meats. There are breakfast charcuterie boards, Mexican, dessert, fruit, and pretty much anything you can dream up at this point. What is charcuterie is now up to the person creating the charcuterie board. The possibilities are really endless and can be a really fun addition to any gathering, whether it be a party of 1 or 100!
Read More: How To Make A Breakfast Charcuterie Board
What Type of Charcuterie Board to Create
Charcuterie boards at one time only referenced a meat and cheese platter. Now the possibilities are endless with the types of charcuterie boards that you can make, create and enjoy! A charcuterie board can be anything you want it to be! It is up to you whether you want to create a traditional charcuterie board, a theme-based one, or one for a meal, which is not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. Charcuterie boards as an appetizer are a great precursor for the meal you are going to enjoy.
You do not have to be limited to just meat and cheese. The charcuterie board you create can be a part of the meal you want to enjoy. If you are having Mexican you can great a charcuterie board around chips and guacamole, add some veggies, fruit, and Mexican cheeses and hard meats. If your meal will be burgers, make homemade onion dip and arrange a board with a variety of chips (potato, sweet potato, BBQ, etc.), add cut-up carrots, celery, and sliced watermelon. You can even throw some additional items to refresh once the burger is served, such as corn on the cob, baked beans, and chocolate chip cookies.
Charcuterie boards also make a great meal, perfect for picnics, just make sure the items you bring are easy to transport. It is a way to enjoy a variety of food as a meal without cooking and being able to have a little bit of a lot of things. What is a charcuterie as a meal? When you think about when you plan a meal you often have protein, starch, and a vegetable. The same goes with the basics of a charcuterie board plus all the extra delicious items you want!
How to Make the Most Creative Charcuterie Board
What is charcuterie without a little fun and creative ingredients? The key to making a charcuterie board is to not limit yourself to what you can put on it or enjoy together. Start with the largest items first, a theme or an idea of the variety of foods you want to serve. Add everything and anything that you want that goes with what you are trying to accomplish. Think of it as a mini buffet or the best snack you could ever imagine. Picture what is charcuterie board missing that would make it even better.
One of the best parts of a charcuterie board is there really are no limitations. You can make ones as simple or as fancy as you want. Get super creative with mini quiches for a breakfast charcuterie board or homemade marshmallow dip for a dessert charcuterie. Basically, your charcuterie board is your creation to do what you want with it.
What is charcuterie without a little inspiration? Don’t shy away from looking and finding other people’s charcuterie boards to help inspire you. From Google to Pinterest you are bound to find something that might help you build exactly what you want without even knowing what you wanted in the first place. Last but not least, don’t forget to add appropriate beverages to your charcuterie board. Wine with a traditional charcuterie board, hot cocoa with a dessert board and mini margarites for a Mexican board, or fresh squeezed juices and champagne for a breakfast or brunch charcuterie board.
Now you know what is charcuterie and a bit of the history of a charcuterie board. You are ready to create the best of the best charcuterie board for your next gathering. It is so fun that you are not limited in your charcuterie creations, you are able to enjoy all of the items you want together, from a transitional charcuterie to one that is more out of the box, popcorn charcuterie anyone? What is charcuterie is up to you and your creative mind!
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