• Olivia Poff

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHARCUTERIE BOARD


photo by Erik Dungan on Unsplash

One of the biggest trends to come out of 2021 is the aesthetically pleasing (and even more delicious) charcuterie board.


This platter is easy to serve at any wedding or event for your guests to snack on or to pass around as an appetizer. But where did the idea of charcuterie come from, and more importantly, why did it become so popular in the past few years?


photo by Juliana Barquero on Unsplash

According to WebstaurantStore Blog The word "charcuterie" originated from France and translates to “pork butcher shop.” It was originally the art of preparing curated meat and cheeses on a platter but now modern charcuterie boards include nuts, fruits, breads, olives and so much more! There are many different meats to include as part of your spread; the French began by strictly using pork but the most popular meats to use now are salami and prosciutto.


The purpose of a charcuterie board is to mix and match, compliment, and contrast different textures and flavors and bring out hidden tastes in each aspect of the spread. You’ll want to pair a spicy meat with a sweet fruit or nut, or a cold cheese with a warm bread. And absolutely nothing pairs better with meat and cheese than a bottle of wine!



photo by Tye Doring on Unsplash

Almost as important as the quality of the food, the key to the charcuterie board is the presentation. Many people like to serve their spread on a wooden board for a rustic vibe but if you’re event is more modern, slate serveware is a chic option. There are also many different concepts of charcuterie boards such as a platter of foods all from the same country or narrowing it down to a few of your favorites like just pickles and cheeses. Let your creative juices flow!


There are a few reasons I believe America jumped on the charcuterie board trend in recent years. The first reason is because during COVID-19 people were forced to remain in their homes during important birthdays, holidays, and weddings. People still wanted to make these events as special as possible and celebrate on a smaller scale. The charcuterie board is a fun at home DIY for virtual gatherings and is a bit more elegant than throwing chips in a bowl (in my opinion); and it's fun pairing different flavors together and trying new things!


photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash

The second reason I believe charcuterie boards are blowing up is because of social media. According to Business Insider, Instagram influencers began posting artsy photos of their spreads and referring to them as “adult lunchables.” Social media users are fascinated by TikToks of colorful charcuterie boards being arranged and are even inspired to create their own.


So while charcuterie boards are by no means new to the United States, they are at the top of the food chain right now and I think they’ll stay up there for quite some time. Order a spread or make one yourself for your next big event!


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