GOODBYE CURED MEAT, HELLO BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
I think we can all agree that charcuterie boards have collectively gone, to put it in scientific terms, cuckoo bananapants. Okay, maybe not the boards themselves, but definitely the too-creative-for-their-own-good millennials whipping them up. We’ve seen butter boards and their bastard stepchild the peanut butter board. And, since this is America, it wasn’t long before someone smeared frosting on a fine slab of wood and surrounded it with cake bits and animal crackers. But, at least there isn’t a #charcuterieboard TikTok, right? Wrong. Sigh. Oh, so wrong.
So let’s take a look at the basics of charcuterie boards, how they’re made, when they’re usually served, etc., and then perhaps we can deduce exactly what the heck happened. “Charcuterie” is a term for both a delicatessen that specializes in various cured meats and meat dishes as well as the items one would find in such a shop. Therefore, your traditional charcuterie board (usually served on a stone or wood slab, similar to a cutting board) typically has deli meats of one kind or another, various cheeses, nuts, cut veggies, and fruit. They’re an attractive option for both experienced and novice party hosts, as they are easy to put together, don’t have any strict “recipes,” generally have something for everyone, and require precious few dishes and flatware. The “ingredients” themselves are also very forgiving: Don’t have any nuts? Throw on some extra cheese. No cheese? Slap some extra grapes and maybe some hummus and crackers down on that bad boy. There really are no rules and, therein lies the rub…we have at last arrived at the core of how everything went so, so wrong.
Okay, okay…that’s enough bashing of the boards, as it were. And, while I may have no desire to scrape peanut butter off a slightly porous surface using nothing but a banana chunk and my wits, we’re all about culinary creativity over here at Well•Pict Berries, so let’s dream up some ways we can incorporate strawberries into this tasty trend. First off, strawberries are welcome on even the most basic and tried-and-true charcuterie boards, so no need to think outside the box if that’s not your thing. If you’re looking to make berries the star of the show, though, we like this sweet but not too sweet option from Delish. But the possibilities are truly endless: Turn this Well•Pict favorite into a party-worthy board by cookie-cuttering (it’s a word—don’t look too deeply into it) the brioche slices into cute shapes, arranging the strawberries in a pretty pattern, and serving the spread on the side in a cute ramiken, or smeared directly on the board…if you must. For vegetarian friends, cheese, strawberries, crackers, preserves, yogurt, bagel chunks, and walnuts provide a minor (but delicious) twist on the traditional board. Feeling inspired? Feeling hungry? Well, that’s the perfect combo—bust out your favorite servin’ slab and get going. (And let us know what you come up with!)
Image courtesy of Delish: Berries and Cream Charcuterie Board