“charcuterie The Fun and Easy Choice for Apps

Decisions are often hard to make, especially when you’re hungry. How often do you go to a restaurant and agonize over what to order? There are so many good choices and and if you’re really ready to eat, you want an easy appetizer that will satisfy without spoiling the meal. Charcuterie is a healthy, simple choice that’s also fun to eat.

What is charcuterie?

Charcuterie is technically the art of preparing meat such as salami, ham, sausage, or pate, but in local restaurant terms, it often refers to the meats presented on a board and the spread that comes with it. Typically the sliced meats are accompanied by a selection of cheeses, some breads and jams, and often some honey. The do-it-yourself aspect of a charcuterie board is great for sharing.

While the accompaniments are a great way to add a variety of flavors, they are there to enhance the taste of the star ingredient the meats. So if you’re planning to share some charcuterie, let’s get more familiar with some popular selections.

The stars

Cured, hard sausage:

Often referred to here as salami, sausages are a popular charcuterie item. Chefs typically like to offer a sweet version along with one that is hot or garlicky. You could have a sweet Italian sausage on board with a spicy soppressata or a smoky chorizo. Coppa is another version made with pork neck and shoulder.

Whole-cut muscle:

Thinly cut pieces of meats work best for charcuterie boards and can include the following:

Lomo embuchado – pork tenderloin that is air dried.

Brasaola beef that is air-dried and aged 2 3 months. This cut is made from top round and is typically dark red in color.

Cessina most often made from the hind leg of beef, but can also come from goat, rabbit, or horse. It is salt-cured and air-dried and appears an almost maroon color.

Prosciutto Italian dry-cured ham. Thinly shaved and often with a line of fat running along the side prosciutto is more tender than some other cuts. It is a favorite not only for charcuterie but for other appetizers as well.

The supporting cast

While it’s always best to sample the charcuterie on it’s own to get a real sense of the subtle flavor differences in the meats, adding other elements makes for a great partnership. Just as wine can enhance the flavors of certain foods, so can the sides that come with the prepared meats.

Slices of bread or toasted baguette work well as a ‘vehicle’ for creating some wonderful combinations of the meat, cheeses, and jams. It’s best to have very simple, or plain bread or crackers.

Whether the jams are sweet or have a bit of kick, just a touch rounds out the experience. You may even want to just try some with the cheese. Certain styles of jams pair best with certain meat and cheese varieties. Honey is also a favorite addition.

For cheese selection Try a combination of hard and soft cheeses and sample ones that come from different milk, such as cow, sheep, or goat.

The perfect opening

Charcuterie is a great way to start a meal, especially when shared with friends. There is typically something for everyone on the board and often you’re able to select your own combinations.

If you’d like to give some a try visit us and create your own platter from prosciutto di Parma, hot Coppa, Soppressata, or spicy salami. Add a bleu, camembert or pecorino and have a little slice of heaven. Pair it with one or two of our wines for the full effect.