The premise of charcuterie is so simple: meat and cheese. How hard can it be? But it is this simplicity that makes charcuterie an art of endless possibilities and combinations. Is a sliver of mild brie paired with soppressata in order? Or perhaps an aged parmesan with prosciutto? The equally vast variety of meat and cheese accompaniments (fruit preserves, nuts, olives, etc.) further complicates the process. To craft a truly masterful charcuterie board is no easy feat, so this is where the professionals step in.
Lucky for us, Nashville has a wide selection of picnic and charcuterie companies that will do the charcuterie work for you. Known by their Instagram handle @nashcuterie, one business has successfully capitalized on the unique craft food trend. The @nashcuterie owners create seasonal grazing boards perfect for any occasion.
The most recent Valentine’s Day menu gave customers a selection of “Date Night,” “Large Date Night” and “Galentine’s” boards according to the size of your group. The menu even gave the option of a dessert-inspired “After-Dinner” board. If you are interested in purchasing a board in the future, check out their Insta to find and place your order for your own charcuterie set-up.
To learn even more about this blooming business sector, I spoke with sophomore Kalini Patel, who plans to work at a professional picnic company this upcoming spring. Patel is notorious for her charcuterie skills and has fully embraced the creativity that comes along with creating charcuterie and grazing boards.
“Some people run, I make charcuterie boards,” Patel said.
Patel will begin her role as aesthetic coordinator for an in-development local picnic company that aims to create luxury grazing boards for its customers. Her job will focus on ensuring that each board is picture-ready for every event. Until she starts working, Patel maintains her own Instagram, @landleats, to showcase her homemade food creations.
Patel notes that making a successful charcuterie board is not just about having a smart selection of meats and cheeses, but also about carefully curating the board’s appearance.
“It’s a huge deal to feel happy about what you end up eating, and a big part of this is how your food looks. Putting things in shapes and making them look fancier makes them taste better, even if it’s just a four-dollar jar of olives and crackers,” Patel said.
She attributes charcuterie’s popularity to social media apps such as TikTok and Instagram. She thinks that these mediums easily promote these trends and provide inspiration by allowing us to see what others are doing and try it ourselves.
“It’s such a learnable thing, so I think it’s very popular because people are realizing that they can do it and make it look good,” Patel said.
Beyond this imitative aspect, Patel thinks that another reason charcuterie has blown up is because grazing boards in general have evolved in so many directions.
“Since you can make a ‘charcuterie’ board out of anything, the possibilities are really exciting. I have made boards that are specialized for Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Some of my boards are just dessert-themed or breakfast-themed,” Patel said.
Patel said that the creative aspect of coming up with new board concepts is one that everyone can enjoy, especially when you need this sort of soothing and therapeutic process to relieve stress. For Patel and others, charcuterie has clearly become much more than just meat and cheese.