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A Cheese Glossary: Charcuterie

Charcuterie – This is a traditional French term for cured meat, usually made from pork. Salami, pâté and prosciutto are all good examples of items that fall under the term charcuterie. In France, it is also the store where you would go to buy these products.

Strangely in North America recently, it seems to have become a word synonymous for an appetizer platter or board usually made up of cheese, meats, dips and other assorted veggies and fruit. This is an odd, inappropriate use of the word and makes it very confusing sometimes. Often, I’m asked to help someone choose some items for a charcuterie board and in the end they don’t by any meats at all! Charcuterie is a common and excellent addition to your cheese plate, but just as you wouldn’t call a salami a cheese because you added it to your cheese board, I think we need to stop calling all things charcuterie just because they are on a board with that same salami.

See Allison Spurrell's cheese glossary at Gismondionwine.com

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