There's A Name For A Person Who Makes Charcuterie

Charcuterie is a culinary icon — and for good reason. If you've been to any type of get-together lately, you've likely grazed — or, at the very least, admired — an Instagram-worthy charcuterie board filled to the brim with a variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies, crackers, and other snackables. These pretty platters are a party, picnic, and movie night must-have due to their versatility and artfulness. There's really no wrong way to build a charcuterie board, either. In fact, these edible works of art can be quite therapeutic, which is one of many reasons why charcuterie boards are not only popular but also have been commonplace and marketable over the years.

But the concept of charcuterie is certainly nothing new, and perhaps contrary to popular belief, it's not just about decoratively piling an array of savory munchies onto a communal plank of wood. Charcuterie, which is French for "cooked flesh," made its debut in France in the 15th century, according to Foodicles. At the time, it solely referred to butcher shops that sold preserved pork products. Moreover, few people may know that there's an actual term for someone who specializes in this branch of cooking. If you simply can't get enough charcuterie, you must also learn that there's an official title for those who professionally prepare this beloved food.

A charcutier is someone who prepares and sells charcuterie

Next time you compile a tray of savory snacks for a game night with friends, feel free to let everyone know that you're the designated charcutier. However, the term formally refers to an expert who is well versed in the preparation and curing of meats, usually those that fall within the pork category, such as ham, gammon, bacon, and sausage. The Cambridge Dictionary generally defines a charcutier as a deli owner, while Merriam-Webster clarifies one as a pork butcher.

So, while charcuterie has become synonymous with strategically placing cured salamis and other palatable embellishments on a dish, the culinary discipline involves much more. Charcutiers are highly skilled when it comes to knowing about the different styles of meat — including but not limited to pork — and using techniques to not only extend their shelf life, but also to make them taste incredible via smoking, brining, and curing. Who knew that one of the most appetizing trends to date stemmed from a true profession that has made a massive impact on everyday cuisine? The truth about cured meat is that it goes deeper than we might've known!