In at this time’s social media local weather, one in all my favourite wind down actions is to browse the favored subreddit of /r/Food.  Should you haven’t had an opportunity to scroll by way of this web site, I extremely advocate you do!  There are literally thousands of completely different teams and enjoyable subreddits.  Particularly on the Food subreddit, customers are allowed to publish photographs of meals they’ve made or meals they’ve came upon on this planet.  Throughout my nightly wind down, I got here throughout a number of photographs {of professional} charcuteries and I may not imagine simply how beautiful some were.  A lot so, that I ended up going to a splinter subreddit referred to as /r/CharcuterieBoard.  This journey down a rabbit gap led me to making an attempt my very own hand at making my very own board, which is the featured picture for this text.  Whereas it’s nowhere near these skilled ones, I actually loved making my very own selection and kind of charcuterie.  As I created my masterpiece and continued to slice cheeses into cracker-size bites, I questioned extra concerning the legacy of charcuterie and the way it got here to be.  Jacob, my co-writer, and I needed to piece one thing collectively concerning the historical past, the utilization of charcuterie, and why it’s best to strive your personal!

Photo by TheAngyTeddy from Pixabay

History of Charcuteries

Charcuterie (shar-koo-tuh-ree), as a phrase or phrase, comes from charcutier, which seemingly means “cooked, pork flesh.” Sometimes, its which means refers to using preserved meats and cheeses for picnics or on a tray.  Charcuterie was in style as early as the traditional Roman empire the place salted and smoked pork was loved by its individuals1. It actually grew to become a specialty within the Gaul area (current day France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, and round that common space). This area is the place they actually started to make charcuterie their very own. This model of meals was born out of the necessity to protect meats for lengthy durations of time earlier than the invention of refrigeration, however these days we put together charcuterie for his or her distinct and highly effective flavors and their eye-catching attraction.

Varieties of Charcuteries

The idea for all charcuterie consists of dried, salted meat or proteins like salami, sausages, pâté, or bacon/fatty pork product; salt-cured or brined meals resembling olives, pickles, pickled peppers, onions, carrots, or different greens; some type of toasted or crunchy bread like crackers, croutons, or french/italian bread; some creamy cheese like brie, gruyere, or cheddar; and sometimes some fruit like grapes, figs, blueberries, or apples. Historically, charcuterie is just the dried or salted meat; with characturie these days, select no matter you prefer to. It’s your board; your alternative!  If you would like gouda cheese, use that; in order for you a vegan charcuterie, try this!  All of it comes all the way down to what you and your group desires.

Simply briefly, we have to point out that there’s a main distinction between a picnic and a charcuterie board.  It is rather doable for a picnic to incorporate or be centered round a charcuterie board, however the board is just not a picnic.  The explanation we point out it is because many, in hotter weathers than the place I reside, have been consuming outdoors and sustaining social distancing throughout COVID-19 restrictions.  To accommodate for this, there was a surge of recognition for picnics round mid April.  Even the well-known Worth It trio of Adam, Steven, and Andrew did an episode on a $7 picnic vs a $15.50 picnic vs $323 picnic.  Truthfully, the final one is principally an astounding charcuterie, simply minus the board.  Both manner, the picnic is especially a kind of exercise and may embody any sort of meals, however a charcuterie is usually eaten on a board and is extraordinarily organized for its meals!

Photo by Laker from Pexels

So how does one make a charcuterie board?  Properly, one of many greatest ideas to grasp is to first have a look at how a lot room you have got.  Smaller boards imply you have got much less room.  Particularly with COVID-19, you wish to ensure you have an enough area proper now for individuals to choose what they need or want.  We closely advocate solely making a board with individuals which are in your social distance bubble.  Nevertheless, the scale of the board will allow you to sculpt out what you may want on there.  After that, it is very important keep in mind that charcuteries are supposed to pair every little thing collectively: meats and cheeses, crackers and fruits, pickles/brined meals with cheeses, heat and chilly, spiced with clean, and so on.  So strive to not have overlapping or conflicting meals, like bleu cheese stuffed olives and chorizo unfold.  Additionally, “smokey” meals are very stylish now, however attempt to not have too many, resulting from its overpowering nature.

Photo by Lauri Patterson from iStock

After you discover some good pairings, probably the most interesting charcuteries have a mirror look to them.  Mainly, what you have got in a single nook mirrors the opposite nook (assuming rectangular boards). You wish to have sufficient in order that the colours all combine and match too, however like we stated, mess around with what you need and like!  Sometimes, I (AJ) have chosen pockets on the board the place dips and sauces can go, then place the opposite gadgets round these “facilities.”  Minimize the meat into coin-slices, onerous cheeses ought to go into skinny rectangles or simply go away as is for softer cheeses like brie, grapes and different fruit could possibly be grouped and unfold all through, both left on the vine or in a dish, after which pickled meals (if nonetheless in brine) must be in a dish, if not, then they are often grouped and positioned close to the meats! One other strategy that I (Jacob) like to make use of is to take my greatest curing board and begin constructing round differing textures, for instance, a favourite of mine is having one thing smooth like an expansion or thick sauce with a crisp component like an apple slice. You could be as adventurous as you need with exploring completely different texture mixtures so long as the flavors work properly collectively. Not everybody who I’ve made this mannequin charcuterie board with is a fan particularly in case you have some choosy eaters. Every little thing else is totally as much as you, however we all the time advocate that you just publish your boards and encourage others with the alternatives you make.  Consider the board as a contemporary canvas to your artwork and Get. To. Work.


  1. Toussaint-Samat, M. (2009). A History of Food, Wiley.

A.J. Taylor

A.J. Taylor Linkedin

SMF Weblog Author

A.J. earned his diploma in Biochemistry from Judson College and his Grasp’s in Food Science and Human Vitamin from the College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  His analysis then targeted on Listeria monocytogenes, however has now transitioned into a Ph.D. program at UIUC within the hopes to find extra concerning the cocoa bean fermentation course of utilizing genomic, bioinformatic, and biochemical instruments to outline chocolate taste from begin to end.  A.J. emphasizes on the significance of science communication and loves to debate a number of matters within the Food Science realm.  A.J. can be an avid gamer from board video games to video video games, in addition to a podcast-lover, in case you have any suggestions, he’s all ears!

Jacob Webster-Jones | Linkedin

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Jacob discovered his ardour for meals science whereas on an elementary college discipline journey to a R&D lab in San Antonio, Texas. Since then he has been concerned about why meals behaves the best way it does and the way it may be used to enhance individuals’s high quality of life. He’s at the moment pursuing his bachelor’s diploma in Food Science & Expertise from Texas A&M College and is the present president of his college’s meals science membership and IFTSA chapter. After he graduates, Jacob plans on going to work for a couple of years earlier than returning to begin a graduate diploma, his final purpose is to work in analysis and growth for a taste firm. On the off probability he has free time you could find him experimenting within the kitchen or having fun with the outside.

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