Are you getting tired of the simple meat, cheese and cracker combination? Are you a picky eater who consistently struggles to find the ideal dish when going out with friends and family? There are plenty of abstract charcuterie boards you can curate with countless options for pairings, dips and more: fruits, vegetables, brunch, fast food, chocolates, pastas, candies— the list goes on. These boards make for the perfect way to spend a birthday, holiday or a casual night in with friends and family — get creative!
Maybe you’ve heard about charcuterie on TikTok. Maybe you’ve curated the most picture-perfect sunset beach charcuterie night with your friends that you posted on Instagram. Maybe you’ve gathered some family members to create your own concoction over some face masks and movies, or you’ve ordered a nice charcuterie board from Lagniappe. Charcuterie is making appearances everywhere.
“I love charcuterie boards — Lagniappe in Miami is wonderful — the restaurant offers custom charcuterie boards,” said junior Charlotte Gardner. “They can be light, decadent, salty or anything you want them to be.”
Charcuterie, a term derived from the French style of cooking, is more than what it may seem on the surface. It is a creative and culinary expression of art: a delicacy bringing together a community and promoting the ideas of sharing and bonding.
Social media has given charcuterie the perfect platform to thrive. The TikTok hashtag for charcuterie has over 1.5 billion views and is filled with thousands of videos.
“It’s so fun scrolling on my For You Page, and viewing all of the options I can try for charcuterie boards,” said Gardner.
Perfect for all ages, charcuterie is enjoyed heavily through every generation. TikTok videos show a range of young children, college students, adults and even grandparents getting involved in the trend.
With the countless ways to mix and match, an abstract charcuterie board can work perfectly for any time of day. For breakfast or brunch, you can create a charcuterie board that includes pancakes, French toast, fruits, cereal and more.
“I would include different types of eggs or berries on my charcuterie board. I put strawberries and blueberries in literally everything. I would definitely want to use those,” said sophomore Reagan Miller. “You can also create a mini charcuterie and use smaller versions of the foods you wish to include.”
For lunch, you can make your own savory menu. Try an Italian-style charcuterie board with different types of pizzas, pastas, salads and more. Collect your favorite Italian spreads in some ramekins — pesto, marinera, tapenade. The more color the better.
Senior Ethan Robbins described his ideal Italian abstract charcuterie board in detail.
“A margarita pizza with an assortment of cheeses ranging from sweet to bitter. Then pasta with the same sauce used for the pizza. The pasta would be topped with a bitter cheese to complement it,” said Robbins. “A red wine should be served with the pasta and butter cheese. Then also have crackers, marmalade jam, blueberry jam with apricots and sliced apples.”
Another popular trend has been the land-and-sea assortment, and this makes for a wonderful dinner charcuterie board. The land part of the combination may include chicken, steak, bacon, sausage, boiled eggs and turkey. The sea part may include salmon, tuna, shrimp, calamari, cod and fish sticks. In the middle, place dipping sauces like A1 steak sauce, teriyaki sauce, spicy mayo and chilled cucumber sauce. The land-and-sea combination allows meat and sea lovers who can’t pick a side to get the best of both worlds.
Sophomore Robbie Heyde was thrilled about the idea of a land-and-sea charcuterie board for a new recipe.
“The Surf-and-Turf combination sounds perfect to me,” said Heyde. “The idea of having two distinct but equally delicious types of food together to experiment with, and with different sauces or dips just sounds incredible to me. I’m definitely going to have to try it.”
Incorporate your creative gauge into every aspect of charcuterie, down to the board, the layout and the ingredients.
You can give your board personality by organizing it like a collage, painting, 3D landscapes or anything else to cater to your interests. You can also purchase boards that spin, or have different shapes and layers, that can spice up your board presentation.
“I would love to have a multiple-level charcuterie stack. Multiple charcuterie boards in one setting, and you can turn the platters around,” said Heyde. “That’s the dream.”
Below are some ideas for abstract charcuterie boards to enjoy or to use as inspiration for your own creations. No matter what you decide to include in your charcuterie, we hope you enjoy your charcuterie experience.
If you’re looking for further inspiration, you can search beyond a simple #charcuterie. Change the search to something more specific. Abstract charcuterie, candy charcuterie, pasta charcuterie and more. You can also create a Pinterest board or look through other posts to gather some ideas.
Charcuterie possibilities are endless, and social media continues to innovate new spinoffs of the traditional board. Who knows, one day you may see Gordon Ramsey hosting a new show with the best recipes and competitions in the world of charcuterie.
SHAKE SHACK CHARCUTERIE BOARD
Are you obsessed with Shake Shack and want to make a charcuterie board with all your fan favorites? Here are some recommendations for things to include:
– Chicken bites
– Avocado bacon chicken
– Fries or cheese fries
– Hand-spun shakes
FRUIT & VEGGIE CHARCUTERIE BOARD
Maybe you’re a vegetarian looking for a non-meat option, or maybe you just love fruits and vegetables and all the healthy goodness they bring. Either way, here are some classic types to put on your charcuterie board:
– Berries: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.
– Melons: watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.
– Marrow: pumpkin, cucumber and zucchini
– Edible plant stem: celery and asparagus
FONDUE CHARCUTERIE BOARD
Fondue can be romantic or wonderful for friends and family sharing. Why not make it a charcuterie board? Include the following for some delicious options and pairings:
– Three Chocolate Dips: milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate
– Graham crackers
– Strawberries and bananas
– Pound cake: from the grocery store
– Marshmallows: big or small
words_jamie moses. design_adriana leόn. photo_ nina d’agostini.
This article was published in Distraction’s Winter 2022 print issue.