What is a Charcuterie Board?
Maybe you’ve seen them on the menu at your favorite coffee shop or brewery, or maybe you’ve just heard the foodie buzz around charcuterie boards. Either way, if you’re too embarrassed to ask what the most popular appetizer is, you’re not alone. Read up, and maybe next time you’re out on the town, you can impress everyone at the table when you order your meat board.
A History of Charcuterie
Charcuterie boards’ popularity have surged in recent years, but charcuterie traces its history back about 700 years. In the French middle ages, charcutiers were a type of butcher that specialized in smoked, cooked and dried meats, leaving fresh meats to a traditional butcher.
Typically sold to preserve meats in an age before refrigeration, charcuterie evolved to include several styles of meats still popular: sausages, smoked meats, brined and salt-cured meats.
Modern Charcuterie Boards
Modern charcuterie draws on traditions but applies a gourmand’s eye to presentation and pairing. A well curated board collects meats of different styles and varying textures to provide variation. Because processed meats are, by nature, heavy, they’re often paired with cheese, meats and crackers. Many top-notch boards also include flavors that contrast that of meat and cheese, including the acidity of pickles, the bite of mustards or, our favorite, selections of jams and jellies.
Is it a meal? That depends on how many people are sharing one and what you’re doing with it. Possibly a reason for their ongoing popularity, charcuterie boards can serve perfectly as an appetizer with drinks or as the centerpiece for a buffet-style cocktail party.
Five Tables Café’s Boards
We’re proud to offer guests the choice of large and small boards. Whether you’re just enjoying drinks over happy hour with a couple friends, or just a meal to yourself. Our boards are served with crackers or crostini, pickled vegetables, nuts, olives, fruit and jam, honey or mustard.Back to Blog