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Just Say “Non” to Charcuterie, S’il Vous Plaît

Published February 15, 2020

We’re likely going to step on a few carefully pedicured toes here, but as responsible—dare we even say—duty-bound caterers, we feel a moral obligation to do a little straight talking.

Charcuterie. Let’s discuss.

The charcuterie trend is sweeping the nation. It’s on your Facebook and Instagram feeds. It sneaks into your Pinterest boards and settles in boldly, looking like a one-stop solution for everything your guests want and more. But is it, really?

First, a little etymology. The name “charcuterie” hails from the French phrase “chair cuit” which regrettably translates into “cooked flesh.” It doesn’t matter how expensively engraved the invitation, nobody RSVPs to a Cooked Flesh party. Charcuterie boards have been around forever, masquerading under names such as Deli Tray, Cheese Tray, or—to tie it all together in a neat bow—Meat and Cheese Tray. As in, “Mabel will bring a Meat Tray, Ethel’s bringing a block of American cheese, and Dottie’s in charge of the Wonder Bread. That oughta do it!”

The latest addition to the naming repertoire is “Grazing Board,” as undesirable as that sounds to anyone counting calories. Trendy coastal regions have even begun to serve up Seacuterie, but we encourage you to draw your own conclusions about fresh seafood sitting out for hours on end. It may make you rethink being fashionably late. But we digress.

Charcuterie is a fraud. There, we said it.

The lies that a Charcuterie will tell you include the following:

There is something for everyone!

Meh. Not so much. There may be one thing for everyone if you have the reflexes and enough primal instincts to snag your favorites on the first go around. The vegetarians are going to grab a grape or two. The vegans will turn green at the thought of the crudités nestling with the prosciutto and sulkily reach for another cocktail.

There will be plenty of food!

Well, we admit it can look stunning and bountiful spread out like that, but in terms of real food and a real meal it simply doesn’t measure up. In actuality your guests are online ordering pizza delivery before they ask for their coat, and they’re feeling a little salty about it because from YOU they expected better.

It’s easy and cheap enough to make on your own!

Don’t believe the “Epic Charcuterie Board On a Budget” headlines. Have you looked at the price of dry salami lately? Purchasing high-quality cured meats is not always a win. Not to mention you’ll need to purchase a cool looking board to put everything on, or else why bother?

Enough of the lecturing.

How can you avoid devolving your event into the Charcuterie Zone?

It’s simple: offer plenty of favorites to your guests that stand beautifully on their own. Incorporate one-bite wonders that truly engage the taste buds. Our smoky beef brisket tacos with roasted corn salsa or our sliced baguettes with sun dried tomato, bacon and chopped green onion are a good place to start.

See? Your event is looking (and tasting) better already. We have a creative variety of delicious menu offerings on our Hors D’Oeuvres page that will put any charcuterie board—no matter how “epic”—to shame. Let’s face it, nobody ever went home raving about summer sausage slices on water crackers, but the pairing of spicy Italian sausage bites with a zesty lemon sauce in our Sausage Sheree will have your guests singing your praises long after the event.

In all fairness we do admit to showing a real talent for pleasing more traditional palates with our popular Fruit and Cheese Display. And yes indeed, we do put together a delightful Antipasto Display…which we highly recommend to accent our other offerings.

Are we saying you need to delete the entirety of your “Cute Charcuterie” board on Pinterest in one fell swoop? We would never. But we DO recommend you check out our menus and allow us to help you expand your offerings past the singular board. It really will make everyone so much happier, and you won’t end up forcing anyone to try to say “charcuterie” out loud. Char-CUT-erie? Shar-COOT-erie? Char…meat and cheese board.

Categories: Pro Tips

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