Gather round, it’s time to talk about coochie and meat.
By now, most of us have seen the post about Lunchables being our original charcuterie board. They gave us the basis we need for stacking crackers, meats, and cheeses. As grown-ups, the simplicity of a quick snack has stuck with us and we love the fancier versions of our childhood pleasures. But now, we all need to know how to properly pronounce Charcuterie (shär-ˌkü-tə-ˈrē). Yes, click that and listen. Do it now.
Black Twitter for the win, though! Now that we know how to say it, let’s gather what we need to put one together!
What are Charcuterie Boards?
Traditionally, cured or smoked meats (mainly pork) have been the foundation of the dish. We usually find a variety of bread/crackers, cheese, fruits, nuts, veggies, and various spreads that accompany the flavor of the meat and voila, magic.
Oftentimes, it is used interchangeably with “grazing board” or even a larger version: the “grazing table”. However, these, are mainly large platters/boards with all of our favorite bites. Additionally, there’s cheese boards which can be their own separate dishes as well. But don’t forget, the biggest difference is the star of the charcuterie board: meat.
Presently, we have a range of ideas for any occasion as this delicatessen styled art has evolved over the years. A charcuterie board can be a beautiful, quick fix to an impromptu gathering. If you’re like me, you eat with your eyes and nose first which makes this dish all the more appealing. Colors and textures set it off. These beauties are traditionally served on a wooden board but any platter will do. Your guest will gawk over the beauty and you will revel in the praise. Let’s check out some contemporary ideas:
What’s the occasion for your board?
A fun way to serve breakfast or brunch in cute little bites. Mini everything is the wave so this fits right in. This is also a great idea for kids, they can self serve without the fuss. Mini pancakes, waffles, servings of fruit, bacon, sausage, and pastries give us everything were looking for. Just add mimosas!
Versatility is the name of the game and these boards have RANGE as appetizers! Serve as a salad, meat & cheese, or tapas (we’ll dive more into these another day). These can be tailored however you’re inspired: seasonally, occasion, or cuisine. Perfect for a picnic or happy hour.
Sweets make beautiful boards, though they are not traditional charcuterie (dessert boards most likely will not have any meat). Chocolates, fruits, nuts, and pastries will be a beautiful end to the night. Because chocolate comes in many forms, you have an advantage for incorporating it and its many textures. Dessert boards are a great platform for variety and incorporating sweet and savory flavors.
This all looks overwhelming…
No, these boards have nothing to do with sharks (and the coochie part is totally up to you). Don’t fret, it’s really not that complicated. Again, the style is an art but you’re the creator of your own masterpieces. The best boards look full, and have a variety of colors and textures. Take your time and plan out what you’d like to serve. And remember, there’s always inspiration you can draw from (and/or order from). Check out my Pinterest board or a few of my favorite Instagram boards:
- Graze Dat! (New Orleans, La)
- You and Brie (Austin, Tx)
- Silverlake Socialite
- NOLA Charcuterie (New Orleans, La)
- Reluctant Entertainer
- Boardeaux NOLA (New Orleans, La)
- For the Love of Food
What type of board do you plan on doing next? Tell me about it in the comments! I’d love to see them or taste (invites are a great way to show you appreciate me). Be sure to tag us in your art!