July 26, 2019

The History of Charcuterie Boards and Why You Should Drink Wine With Them

Who doesn’t like a good charcuterie board? Oh, you aren’t sure what that means? Do you know those fancy platters with assorted cured meats and mild and creamy cheeses? Yeah, those are charcuterie boards.

Charcuterie boards, or let’s simply call it charcuterie, is not a new thing. They have been around for hundreds of years. It’s only until recently that America has got caught up in the trend.

Before we get to the here and now, here’s a little bit of a history lesson. Charcuterie is derived from the French words for flesh (chair) and cooked (cuit). The word was used to describe shops in 15th century France that sold products that were made from pork, including the pig’s internal organs.

Please, don’t lose your appetite. Keep reading!

However, the practice of salting and smoking meats to preserve them dates back about 6,000 years to ancient Rome. Charcuterie is rooted in the belief that nothing from the animal should be wasted; not even the heart, lungs, kidneys, fat, or brain.

Charcuterie: What’s Included?

A typical charcuterie board consists of mainly meats and cheeses. But at many restaurants or house parties, it’s common that these boards include bread, fruits, nuts, condiments such as honey or mustard, pickles, and olives.

Many of the common meats that are considered to be charcuterie include capicola, salami, and prosciutto. Dry-cured chorizo and mortadella are also regularly-used meats in terms of charcuterie.

Cheese is all about preference. It comes down to what pairs better with the meaton your platter. A typical board has a variety of different cheeses. Aged cheddar or aged gouda are popular choices. So are cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano or gruyere. There should always be contrasting cheeses so each bite can have a different flavor profile to it.

Cured Meats, Cheese, and Wine

Eating charcuterie typically involves drinking some type of alcohol with it, usually wine. A simple reason is that it’s great for many people in one setting, whether it be a party or out at a restaurant. Secondly, many wines go well with it. Yes, that’s a really broad statement, but it’s true.

Salty meats such as prosciutto go well with chilled, sparkling wines. That is because they are low in alcohol content, high in acid, and a little sweet to balance out the saltiness. Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir would be great choices. Historically, full-bodied red wines, like Merlot or Cabernet Fran, are commonly paired with charcuterie.

Uncork a Bottle Today!

Come on down to Cork Restaurant today to try delicious food paired with some of the best wines in Northeast Pennsylvania. Reserve your table today!