Charcuterie is a French term used to describe preparing meat products. It's evolved into the art of arranging tempting platters of traditional meats, cheeses, breads, and spreads. While charcuterie carries similarities around the globe, each country has its own twist on the traditional board. Follow us as we explore some of the unique variances between countries.
What does regional charcuterie have in common?
From our research into regional differences in charcuterie, one fact is clear: Charcuterie relies on meats and cheeses for the main centerpieces around which the rest of the board is built.
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You may never find a more savory charcuterie board than those found in Italy. The perfect Italian cheese board will treat your guests to one of Italy's oldest cheeses - a stretched curd cheese called caciocavallo silano - plus preserves in oil, bruchette, and croutons. But don't forget the most important part of the Italian charcuterie board - the meat. Capocollo and sopressata are particularly fine choices.
French charcuterie may be close to what you think of when you think "traditional." But it does have its basic guidelines. You'll find dry cured meats, lots of kinds of cheeses, and bread rather than crackers. A particularly popular dry cured sausage in France is called Saucission. It's stuffed with cheese or nuts, dried fruits, and sometimes even wine, making it sort of a charcuterie on its own.
Charcuterie in Germany (also known as a Vesper board) is characterized by heartiness - You'll find pork sausage and liver sausage, pork pate and duck pate, accompanied by tangy pickled vegetables and relishes. For cheese, try Butterkäse (butter cheese) spready on rye bread. This board may be better served with beer instead of wine.
If you like pork, you'll be in charcuterie heaven with the Spanish cheese board. Try thinly cut Jamón de Bellota, the finest cured pork in Spain. Add chorizo to the board for an intensely spicy experience. Pair these wonderous meats with buttery Manchego cheese, Cabralas (a blue cheese), and fatty Marjorero cheese.
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