October 18, 2021
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What is charcuterie?
Charcuterie is a French term for a type of cooking related to cured meats such as bacon, ham, and sausage, primarily from pork. The term charcuterie is a French derivative that means “cooked flesh.”
History of Charcuterie
The trade of charcuterie began in the first century AD, when the Romans regulated the proper production of pork joints. In the 15th century in France, local guilds produced charcuterie, including cooked or salted and dried meats. A charcutier, people who produced charcuterie, also prepared pates, rillettes, sausages, bacon, trotters, and head cheese. They used preservation methods so that the meats would last longer.
This process also was also meant to make sure not a single portion of the animal would go to waste. Rather than only using what could be freshly cut, more parts of the animal could be used to create charcuterie.
Modern Charcuterie Boards
These historic practices have been modernized, particularly in the United States, to be a snacking platter that uses cooked or cured meats combined with cheeses and other snack foods. It is often inclusive of fruits, nuts, and spreads. Sometimes the term is even stretched to make something like a “s’mores charcuterie board” which is a snack board of foods related to making s’mores. This type of board completely removes the meat, which is the main ingredient of a traditional charcuterie board.
The history of charcuterie is thousands of years old but is a modern platter that many of us love to enjoy! For charcuterie board ideas, check out our blog.