The term “charcuterie” comes from 15th century France and originates from the French words chair (flesh) and cuit (cooked). Thus, the original meat-laden boards. The current trends lean toward a more vegetarian charcuterie board but both are well-represented in the foodie space today. Whether you are assembling a meat board or a vegetarian charcuterie board — variety is the key. A variety of senses deserve a variety of sensations.
For your meat boards, consider small-batch farm-to-table brands such as Two Rivers Meats in Vancouver — an ethical source for meat. And use your meats creatively. You will find that with meat, there’s not quite the opportunity for the same visuals that you’ll find with fruit, cheese and dips. But with the right board, your meats can look quite elegant. The definition of the charcuterie board really has busted wide open, and you can take it in almost any direction. There are no limits to what you can create or how to mix the choices.
Vegetarian charcuterie boards focus on a wide assortment of cheeses, fruit, and nuts (especially somewhat exotic ones), pickles, dips and breads. Even edible flowers. Or you can take your board completely vegan with cheese alternatives and still look — and taste — incredible. If you want a vegetarian-lite board, go ahead and add a few salami roses. Just be mindful about it.