There’s just something about pretty food that makes us humans giddy with excitement. The understanding that aesthetics plays a crucial role in how people perceive and enjoy food is a universal one that transcends time and cultural boundaries.
The practice of culinary arts has ancient roots. In fact, “We eat with our eyes first” is an expression attributed to Marcus Gavius Apicius who wrote the only surviving cookbook of the Greco-Roman world in the first century CE.
Charcuterie has ancient roots, as well, dating back to a time before refrigeration when preserving meat was essential for survival. The term is derived from the French words “chair” (flesh) and “cuit” (cooked), indicating a range of cured or cooked meats, often served in slices on a board or platter. Over time, this evolved into a specialized culinary art in many cultures, with each region developing its own unique cured and cooked meat traditions embraced and adapted by various cultures worldwide.
Today, charcuterie is not only a practical method of preserving meats but also a form of culinary craftsmanship and artistry that can even encompass vegan friendly foods, by creatively substituting plant-based alternatives to mimic the variety and presentation and diverse assortment of delicacies found on a traditional charcuterie board.
Often associated with high-quality, artisanal products, charcuterie has experienced a resurgence in popularity as part of culinary trends and the farm-to-table movement. In addition, social media has played a huge part in the rise of charcuterie, as it’s often deemed “Instagram worthy.”
Preparing a charcuterie board can be a fantastic gateway into the culinary arts and get into the holiday spirit. It not only provides a hands-on introduction to culinary arts, it allows you to tailor the experience to your preferences and gradually expand your culinary repertoire. It’s a delightful and versatile entry point for anyone interested in exploring the world of food and cooking.
A beautifully presented dish reflects the effort and passion put into its preparation, but just one question: How do they do it?
If you missed the chance to sign up for this Sweet and Savory Christmas Charcuterie Cup Workshop at Spruced Studio, 5120 Plainfield Ave NE, or don’t have time to attend a Say Cheese and House of Wine collaboration workshop, the folks at Platterful have got you covered, providing a link to instructional videos along with their subscription box seasonal charcuterie kits, so you don’t have to try to figure it out yourself!