Easter is just around the corner, and while we all may still be discouraged from holding large gatherings during the gradual rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, you may want to tone down the Easter feast this year and opt for a simpler, albeit savory alternative. And I have just the thing that will always be a huge hit.
The Charcuterie Trend
Charcuterie boards! This food trend is hot on social media right now. It’s one of my favorite food items to look at while I’m scrolling through my feed, as it always makes for such a photogenic scene. I just love seeing how creative everyone gets with their variety of cured meats and luxurious cheeses spread out on a rustic cutting board, garnished with different kinds of fruit, olives, nuts, toast points, crackers, dips and spreads.
You can also set the stage any way you like – you can go savory, spicy, gluten-free, vegan, kosher, you can even get a little wild and add some touches of sweets including chocolates, marshmallows or caramels. You can also never go wrong by pairing it with a glass of crisp white wine or a hearty red. A nice blush or a white zin is always a nice supplement as well.
Image Source: Canva
The Centerpiece of the Party
Charcuterie boards are also the perfect way to impress your small gathering of guests or immediate family members in your household. While it may be considered too pretty to eat at first (personally, I can marvel at the splendor of a charcuterie board for hours), they can be surprisingly filling and would be conducive as a replacement for a substantial holiday meal.
Check out these delectable images posted by the foodie Instagram account, sdgastronaut as an example of just how popular this food trend became in 2020 during the nationwide shutdown.
“Why isn’t everyone obsessed with charcuterie boards?” said Susannah Bankhead, creator of sdgastronaut. “They are a ‘choose your own adventure in food.’ They’re the real-life version of ‘I want to eat all my favorite things for dinner’. You can literally put whatever you want on a charcuterie board and as long as you make it look a little fancy, it’s considered an acceptable meal.”
Bankhead went on to say that there is a certain skill involved in making charcuterie boards look good; it isn’t about just throwing piles of food together on a cutting board like a smorgasbord.
“When I first started experimenting, they looked like ‘hi, I have nothing to make for dinner, so I am just throwing everything in the fridge onto a board and calling it a meal,’” said Bankhead. “Over time, and with practice, you get the hang of it and it can become a real work of art.”
The Charcuterie Gift
Charcuterie boards are not only pleasing to the eye and a great way to entertain, but they also make for very thoughtful gifts. If you’re a culinary brand of any kind, consider the following example from an innovative ecommerce food establishment to stay top of mind during a time when certain food trends are going viral.
The Cheese + Charcuterie Cheer Box made by Mouth is “a box full of America’s best farmstead cheeses and heritage cured meats…savory and salty assortment of items like buttery, hand-crafted triple cream cheese, sharp and fruity raw milk cheddar, and salami infused with absinthe and black truffle is custom-made for entertaining.”
Image Source: Mouth
Here is one of the many beautiful images you will find on Mouth’s Instagram account highlighting all of their gorgeous collections for every occasion.
The possibilities are endless when you consider how many combinations of fruits, spreads, meats, cheeses, crackers, olives, pickles, jams and jellies you can include in a gift box or basket along with some complemetary cocktails. Decorate it in rainbow cellophane and beautiful ribbons and your thoughtful charcuterie-themed gift will be one to remember and treasure forever.
Charcuterie Boards for Every Occasion
Charcuterie boards, boxes or baskets are the perfect gift for any holiday including Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, new baby gifts, thank you gifts, etc.
“Charcuterie boards are nothing but fun. They allow you to put your personal style into the meal. They are the perfect addition to a movie night, reading night by the fire, game night with a glass of wine, or pack it to go and have it at the park with your dog or kids as they run off some energy,” Bankhead expressed. “As we near another Easter in quarantine, I am choosing to get excited about what I can do instead of what I can’t. Yes, I will miss a big Easter table full of amazing food and friends and family –– but I plan on creating a feast on a board for my husband and myself. Hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, mini toasts with jam, cubes of smoked ham and perhaps a warm brie — and who knows? Maybe a jellybean or two might make an appearance.”
Now that you’ve been inspired by this brilliant food trend, it’s time to hop to it and create your own charcuterie board for your Easter feast. They’re easy to assemble, fun to look at and make for some darn good eatin’. What items would you include?
If it were me, I would include a variety of cured meats (my favorite being prosciutto), and sophisticated cheeses (my favorite being brie), kalamata olives, sourdough bread bites with fig jelly spread, sprinkled with pecans, cucumbers, banana peppers and sun dried tomatoes drizzled with truffle oil and finished with a nice glass of Riesling. I would definitely be satisfied for the rest of the day.
This Easter, if any of you decide to go the charcuterie board route for your meal or give it as a gift and would like to share what you come up with, please feel free to add your photos to the comment thread of this blog’s social post, I would love to see all of your beautiful creations.