What is Charcuterie?
Charcuterie is just a fancy word for cured meat. The word derives from French origins in the 15th century, when people used every last bit of meat and nothing was left to waste. The meat was then put through a preservation process of curing and often formed into some sort of sausage or dry-aged meat. Remember, this was before refrigeration, so salt, vinegar, and smoke were essential in the meat preservation process. The term predominately refers to pork, but can refer to other types of cured meats as well.
The term charcuterie comes from two French words: “chair” which means “flesh,” and “cuit” which means “cooked.” While you may travel around Europe and find charcuterie-type shops serving cured meats and accompaniments, the trend and appreciation hadn’t really taken off in the United States until more recently.
What is a Charcuterie Board?
A charcuterie board is a tray or board that includes cured meats, cheeses and a variety of sweet and savory bites as well (including miniature pickles, olives, spreads, hot jams, fruits, honey, nuts, chocolates and more).
Which wines pair with Charcuterie Boards?
When enjoying your charcuterie board, don’t forget the wine! Due to the variety of flavors and textures, the pairing is really up to you. Champagne or a sparkling rosé are great matches for charcuterie as the bubbly acidity mellows the fat and salt. If you want a red, then Pinot Noir is a subtle wine that balances the cured meat well, along with a smooth Cabernet Sauvignon.
Keep an eye out for future blogs on specific charcuterie board ingredient lists and ideas as well as wine pairings to help you get started or try something new!