Charcuterie gets its name from French delicatessens specializing in cured meats, dry sausages and pâté. Pronounced shar-KOO-ter-ee, the art of curing and preserving meats is an ancient one used to prevent meat spoilage before there was refrigeration. By salting or drying raw meat to “cook” it, the meat has longer shelf life.
Boards layered with meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts and pickled or fresh vegetables are popular appetizers on restaurant menus, and with enough variety can even make a gourmet meal.
Often served on wooden boards or a stone slab, making a charcuterie board at home is relatively simple once you master the concept.
Adam Tuttle, founder of Gourmet Ghost Charcuterie, said the company offers Build Your Own classes to make your perfect board. Most to-go platters are prepared in recyclable boxes; this, along with building partnerships with local dairy and meat farmers, lowers product cost for Gourmet Ghost’s customers.
To build a board, he begins with cubed cheeses to frame the perimeter and prevent round items like nuts, tomatoes and berries from rolling off. As you add more cheeses and meats folded into rosettes or triangles, work toward the middle to create a natural pocket to fill with vegetables and fruits. Blackberries, blueberries and pistachio nuts add colorful notes and texture, and cups of olives, chutney, dressings and hummus for dipping or spreading on thinly sliced bread or crackers create height.
“When building a board, color coordinate by either clumping colors in clusters in one spot or mirror them,” Tuttle suggests.
If the lure of charcuterie is haunting your dreams but you’re short on time, Gourmet Ghost offers fast-casual, affordable charcuterie to build your own within minutes. With 18 to 23 cheeses and 5 to 7 meats in the shop, along with fresh cut fruit and veggies, a bountiful charcuterie board is at your fingertips.
Platters serve from 2 to 10+ people and are priced from $12 to $85+, based on selected meats and cheeses.
By Emily Kemme | Longmont Magazine