Charcuterie Boards, Why the Popular Trend?
In the event planning world, it seems like everyone is talking about Charcuterie boards. These decorative platters of spiced meats and sliced cheeses are appearing in beautiful spreads. You can find both handmade boards by online influencers and new offers on catering websites. It seems like everywhere you look there’s a new breathtaking sculpture of cured protein or a little garden of spirals and swirls across decorative wooden boards.
If you are planning your wedding, no doubt you’ve come across the Charcuterie board trend. But just what exactly is a Charcuterie board and should you include one in your wedding plans? Those are the questions we are here to help you answer in full, glorious detail.
What are Charcuterie Boards?
The word “Charcuterie” has French roots. Translated directly into English, it means, “delicatessen”. I other words, these are French deli catering boards done in true Franco style. Instead of simply selling a roll of salami and a block of cheese, Charcuterie boards were developed to add beauty and a certain finger-food quality to the classic deli selection.
That said, we can easily see that the trend has spiraled wildly away from the initial delicatessen arrangements. The boards have become impossible works of art using spiced proteins as the medium for expression. They are gardens or sculptures or even tiny scenes laid out in sliced meats and cheeses. Laid out, a charcuterie board becomes a delicious snack for all who pass by. Many include even a few fruits and vegetables thrown in for variety, nutrition, and color.
The boards are also art unto themselves. Charcuterie boards are typically made of wood and traditionally a rounded rectangle – like a large wooden cutting board. However, that too changed as the trend developed. Now we’re seeing charcuterie boards on polished tree-trunk slices, hand crafted artist trays, and even serving slabs of remnant marble and granite.
Why Is the Charcuterie Trend so Hot Right Now?
Why have these incredible meet and cheese trays suddenly become the hottest thing on social media? “I think grazing tables and charcuterie boards have gained popularity for a few reasons. Meat and cheese and olives have been around forever,” says Amazing Graze. “But, what’s different today is the elaborate displays that are born from the desire for every aspect of our lives to be insta-worthy. They really are a great creative outlet and are almost edible art!”
There are a few factors at play here. Mainly, these displays of “edible art” caught the eye of the right few-thousand people right as the pandemic was hitting (thanks Instagram). And, with a sudden intense focus on health and eating at home, the trend started strong. It then accelerated at a meteor pace based on the beauty and edibility of each Charcuterie masterpiece posted online. Let’s dive a little further into the popularity of charcuterie boards.
The Pandemic Effect
We can’t deny that the Charcuterie trend and the pandemic happened to coincide. It makes sense when you reflect on the circumstances. Millions of families were sent home with a sudden need to start cooking at home – even for those without much experience or skill. This brought cold cuts into the grocery spotlight because they make delicious lunch (and dinner, and sometimes breakfast) without any time at the stove.
Increased Focus on Health
In addition, the mid-pandemic population became acutely health-conscious, so frozen dinners for the family were less appealing. As Charcuterie boards made their appearance on Instagram and other social media feeds, we can see why so many jumped on board. People at home and many now-catering restaurants eagerly adopted on the opportunity for healthy, instantly edible, and stunningly beautiful platters of proteins.
Stunningly Arranged Boards on Instagram
Of course, we’re not trying to downplay the importance of the look of Charcuterie boards. Anyone can arrange salami and cheese slices, but it takes an artist to make that board of cold cuts into a visual delight.
These works of art began appearing on social media in breathtaking photos. You could hardly believe these sculptures were made of meat -except that they clearly were. Other influencers jumped on board to make their own food art and people at home delighted in the endless display. Many endeavored to try their own Charcuterie boards at home for the family or purchase pre-made boards from the local deli.
Meeting the Dietary Needs of Every Guest
Lastly, Charcuterie boards are ideal for catering to the diverse dietary needs of your guests. Having a snack spread for grazing means that each person can find something they can eat and enjoy. Charcuterie boards aren’t limited to deli items. The right board for your party may include many fruits and vegetables, and a few vegan-deli delights. “There is something on a grazing table that everyone can eat, keto, vegetarian, Gluten-Free, even vegan,” exclaims Amazing Graze.
Plentiful Taste Combinations
If you are going to have it, then it should be tasty! Right? “Our clients often tell us that presentation is as important as taste when it comes to their wedding meal, and we couldn’t agree more,” states Rothchild’s Catering. “Charcuterie platters are a great way to satisfy both the eye and the appetite because they are colorful and allow guests to experiment with different flavor combinations.”
Why are Charcuterie Boards Popular for Weddings?
Charcuterie boards have also been taking wedding catering photos by storm. It seems like everywhere you look, there’s another gorgeous spread of finger food with the Charcuterie board as the centerpiece. “Charcuteries are popular at weddings because brides are looking for well-rounded, healthy, local, hearty small plate options for cocktail hour,” states Rosa’s Catering. “Who doesn’t love a cheese board with a glass of wine?” We couldn’t agree more!
Trendy Weddings on Instagram
There are a few reasons for this hot wedding catering trend. First, anything beautiful on Instagram winds up in wedding design, that’s just how weddings work. Couples are inspired by online photos and want to try this finger-food sculpture for themselves. But it also goes deeper than that.
Charcuterie boards fit the style of wedding planning hors-d’oeuvres perfectly, so it’s no wonder brides and grooms across the nation are choosing this new artistic way to serve their guests.
Weddings in the “new normal” have become more intimate affairs. Only closest friends and family are invited, often with special precautions. Charcuterie boards are a way to celebrate that togetherness by enjoying a finger food platter as only household members and regularly visiting relatives can. Who doesn’t love hors-d’oeuvres at weddings? They are beautiful, delicious, and easy to eat, which allows for socially distanced mingling rather than at a crowded dinner table.
Everyone loves the hors-d’oeuvres at weddings because they are beautiful, delicious, and easy to eat. A snack table is often even better than circling waiters with trays because everyone enjoys what they like when they want it most. “People tend to hover around food at parties and it’s so easy to start a conversation about the food,” says Amazing Graze. “It gives people a chance to try new flavor combinations that perhaps they wouldn’t have thought to try before.”
Can I Have a Catered Charcuterie Board at My Smoky Mountain Wedding?
Absolutely! Here in the Smoky Mountains, we love artistic finger foods as much (maybe more) as the rest of the world. With our penchant for rural weddings with breathtaking mountain views, finger food hors-d’oeuvres are especially appealing because it creates a relaxed and delicious atmosphere.
Our local caterers are proud to offer some truly spectacular deli arrangements on gorgeous artisan wooden boards. As these displays become more popular, our local caterers have rolled out some incredible Charcuterie boards for marrying couples to choose from. Check out our Smoky Mountain wedding caterers and the beautiful Charcuterie boards you can select for your nuptial celebrations.