Say Shar-coo-tree. Now don’t you feel French?

C, naturally, is for charcuterie.

Don’t be disturbed if you can’t pronounce it, much less know what it is.

The French pronunciation is shar-coo-tree, and well, sometimes it pays to sound French.

But even if you’re just Texan like me and say this with all four syllables and lots of long r’s, it’s still the same- charcuterie is the culinary art of preparing meat products such as bacon, salami, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pates and confits.

We’ll save a talk about those last five for when we’re all feeling particularly studious (you’re welcome) , but in the strictest sense, charcuterie just deals with the age-old treatment of cured and prepared meats.

Simple.

Charcuterie boards, on the other hand, are a more modern iteration and have taken on a life of their own. You can find examples everywhere of this updated twist on your Grandma’s holiday meat and cheese tray.

In fact, current variations (like a pancake board? baked potato board?) have veered so far away from what traditional charcuterie is all about (the meat, remember) that they are really just boards, and that’s OK. They make a lovely centerpiece and are a fun food presentation for a crowd.

If you want to get on board (ha) the keys to making one are:

color (lots- remember that “we eat first with our eyes” thing)

variation (meats, cheeses, crackers, veggies, dips, sweet bites of dried fruits and nuts are staples) and

quantity (no one likes an anemic looking skinny board, so stuff that thing full to overflowing!)

Any way you load it up, a charcuterie board spells fun.

(Just with a lot of letters and a confusing pronunciation)

Lu

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