What the Heck is Charcuterie? And Why You Need it at Your Next Party!

 

You will notice a trend on menus these days and it’s called Charcuterie. Charcuterie is especially popular in farm to table restaurants where traditional foods are served. So what exactly is it?

Charcuterie- What is it and why you need it at your next party

Charcuterie is the culinary art of preparing meat products such as bacon, salami, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit.  Someone that prepares charcuterie is called a Charcutier. So why is charcuterie suddenly all the rage?

Well as the saying goes “Everything old is new again”. Like many traditional foods that are making a comeback, charcuterie is a culinary art developed from necessity; it is the way meats were preserved long before the days of refrigeration. And just like pickles, fermented vegetables, home drafted beer, broth and kombucha, charcuterie has been revived and brought front and center by the traditional food movement. And in my humble opinion front and center is exactly where it deserves to be. 

Generally when served in a restaurant charcuterie is presented as an appetizer on a board alongside artisan cheese, nuts, fresh or dried fruit, honey and bread or crackers. (Click to see my gorgeous Marble and Wood Cheese Board)

Charcuterie: Everything old is new again!

 I like to serve mine with a little wedge of honeycomb…

Charcuterie : The Organic Kitchen

 

 …some kind of salted or herbed nuts, a delicious creamy goat cheese topped with artisan jam and Leslie Stowe Raincoast Crisp Crackers. (affiliate links)

Charcuterie board from The Organic Kitchen

Putting together a charcuterie board is a snap which is why it is perfect for holiday parties! Just visit the specialty department in your grocery store and pick and choose what looks amazing and then set it on a board! Honestly when something is this easy and delicious why would you make anything else?

Other serving suggestions:

Aged gouda, brie, or blue cheese. Olives or pickles. Grapes, berries, or pear slices. Dates, dried plums, apricots or cranberries. Sourdough bread, bread crisps, or a toasted baguette. A little bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping bread. Honestly, anything goes!

 

 

MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?

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17 thoughts on “What the Heck is Charcuterie? And Why You Need it at Your Next Party!

  1. Where have you been able to get your meats uncured and not filled with nitrates/nitrites?? I’ve been looking for gift basket options for my FIL that LOVES meat and cheese platters but CAN NOT bring myself to sending him toxic loaded cured meat baskets! 🙁 Trying to find other ideas/resources as we literally live in the Mojave Desert-HOURS away from any reputable place to purchase said cured meats…so internet shopping is my only real option.
    Thanks for your help!!

  2. I find it interesting and wonderful that nitrates have been vindicated. And I also read recently how pork is better for us when it is cured in some way. Those preservation techniques ALWAYS seem to have a dual purpose!!! Love that. Well, this feast surely resonates in every way … and not surprisingly those on healing diets can eat most of these foods as long as they’re sourced well. Thanks for sharing this bounteous beauty!!!

  3. Looking forward to serving my own version of Charcuterie as appetizer before stuffed pork with Cranberry mustard, Cheesed shred potatoes, Salad, and cranberry walnut bread. And what would this kind of dinner be without desert: chocolate mousse with cranberry/white chocolate biscotti and some delicious coffee.

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