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, that begs the question: What the Heck is Charcuterie? And Why You Need it at Your Next Party!
(This post contains affiliate links off which I may make a commission. Your price remains the same.)

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

Let’s Talk Charcuterie!

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?

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

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.

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

What To Expect When You Order Charcuterie at a Restaurant:

Generally when served in a restaurant charcuterie is presented as an appetizer on a board alongside artisan cheese and nuts.

How To Make It Your Own For A Party:

The fabulous thing about serving charcuterie at your own party is that there are no rules! You can keep it as simple as you like (just the cured meats maybe?) or dress it up with fresh or dried fruits, a variety of artisan breads and crackers, olives, spreads like honey, preserves or jams! You can also keep it budget friendly by setting out a small plate or go all out with a huge platter!

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

Charcuterie is Perfect for The Holidays:

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? That said, if you aren’t sure you can arrange a platter as esthetically pleasing as mine I have some tips for you! Click—> How To Make a Holiday Charcuterie Platter!

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

Make it A Meal!

Charcuterie doesn’t have to be relegated to the appetizer category. Every time I order charcuterie at a restaurant I would say to my husband “If this just came with a salad it would be the perfect easy meal. So voila! I came up with my own Salad and Charcuterie Board for an easy, delicious, filling meal when I don’t want to cook!

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

The Recipe and Serving Suggestions:

What you will need: not much! A serving board (I love this farmhouse style board or this round board and these pretty cheese knives! I use a grill pan to grill the baguette and love Marcona almonds, and use Adriatic fig spread on the goat cheese! It’s amazing!

What The Heck is Charcuterie and Why you Need it at Your Next Party!
Prep Time
15 mins
 

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! This isn't exactly a recipe, but more a guide and list of ideas that might inspire you. Remember, you can't go wrong.

Course: Appetizer
Keyword: charcuterie, charcuterie platter, easy appetizer recipe
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
Meats:
  • prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés etc...
Cheeses:
  • The cheese is my favorite part! I LOVE aged hard cheeses like gouda, cheddar and Manchego, but I also love soft cheeses like chevre and brie. The beauty of the board is you can mix it up to fit everyone's taste! And if you're unsure, ask the people behind the cheese counter at your local store!
Fruits and Veggies:
  • Add dried mango, apricots or dates to your platter as well as fresh fruits like grapes, sliced apples, pears, berries or melon. For the holidays: pomegranate seeds, fresh figs and persimmons add a festive touch! Of course all sliced veggies are welcome aboard and adding an assortment flavorful olives and pickles brings a nice salty element to the board.
Breads and Crackers:
  • If you watch the carbs, you can skip these entirely and still have a fabulous board. But if you choose to include them, go for artisan breads and gourmet crackers with different shapes, textures and flavors to keep things interesting! I love Leslie Stow Crackers...and she makes some gluten free! Of course a toasted baguette is always a winner but bread sticks work too.
Honey, Spreads, Oils and Vinegars:
  • Set honey or honeycomb right on the platter or place in a small dish. Dab a generous amount of Adriatic fig or other fruit spread on top of a log of goat cheese for spreading on bread and crackers. Set out a plate of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping bread!
Nuts and Seeds:
  • Go big or go home, dried salted nuts are great but I also encourage you to try Marcona almonds, spicy nut/seed mixes, caramelized nuts and even chocolate covered nuts or raisins.

 

MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?

We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Subscribing and sharing on social media is very appreciated! 

STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers.The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy

21 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.

  4. My local grocery store has opened a new huge deli section and advertise Charcuterie and I was wondering what it meant. Thanks for the info. Sounds like a great idea for the holidays.

  5. Hi Linda,
    I see some of the posts are from 2014, but the trend for charcuterie is going to be found at Disney Springs in 2018 at a new wine bar. While shopping over the past year, I have noticed an increase in marble and wooden boards which lend themselves to excellent presentations of food items found in this genre of food. The somalier there will likely offer wonderful pairings of the food with wines …even non-wine drinkers may find the perfect paring of charcuterie foods with wine to bring out flavor st hey never experienced before. Very exciting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *