I find myself curious about many things food and the word charcuterie is high on the list for many.
In the past few years it has become on trend with food gatherings to serve a Charcuterie Board. Some say CHA-cuterie, others say SHA-cuterie as well as CHER-cuterie. I decided to visit a simple source, the Pronunciation Academy to find the correct pronunciation of this old word. Say it with me …
We seem to have a sense of what this might mean and yes, it’s all about the meat. Cured meats, pate, terrines but where did this come from and why has this difficult word we all stumble over, become so hip to serve. Move over cheese tray there’s a new board in town and just like bell bottoms, old is new again.
I decided to ask my virtual encyclopedia Google. What is charcuterie?
Charcuterie is the culinary art of preparing meat products such as bacon, salami, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit.
A Charcuterie can be a delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes.
This is a perfect beginning, but I wanted to get it straight from someone who prepares charcuterie for others on a regular basis. I decided to plug in with a local culinary resource, Chef Andrea from Juniper Dining Co. Sitting around the gorgeous solid wood bar at Juniper, we discussed the charcuterie served on a board at her restaurant.
A typical Charcuterie Board has sliced & cured meats although Chef Andrea prepares hers with items that are made in house. Creamier textures and rich flavours are on her charcuterie menu with pates, rillettes and terrines that are all prepared from scratch. Chef Andrea shares “I enjoy the iron flavours that liver offers therefore we have three unique preparations of liver on our charcuterie boards.” Her boards are balanced with in-house made condiments that compliment the meats such as her pickled mustard seeds, sour pickles & house made mustards in season.
Something she shared may surprise, and that is a true charcuterie board does not include cheese on the board. It’s all about the meat only. Visiting Chef Andrea for this delicious research was a great opportunity to learn about charcuterie from a local entrepreneur who enjoys putting her own delicious twist on her menu. #holdthecheeseplease