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The Art of Charcuterie

Tips on How to Create Your Own for Your Next Cocktail Party

Charcuterie (pronounced “shahr-ku-tuh-ree” by English-speaking people, “shar-coo-tree” by those who speak French) is defined as the art of preparing and assembling cured meats and other meat products, although many people use the term to refer to an assortment of meats that are paired with different accompaniments, such as toast, fruit, cheese and sauces.

Charcuterie further is described as a branch of cooking that involves prepared meats, such as ham, sausage, bacon, confit or other pork products. The word originated in France and translates to “pork-butcher shop.” However, modern charcuterie boards can include other types of food, such as duck, goose, chicken, cheese, toast and/or fruit.

“A lot of charcuterie boards are very small portions and seem like an attempt at high profit sometimes,” says Brady Sexton, proprietor of Scratch Kitchen and Cocktails ( in Norman. “For ours, we like to fully load and deliver a good value. The fun is in doing unique things, like a curried pickled egg or apricot and blue cheese hummus. You never know what we are going to have!”

For those interested in creating their own charcuterie board, Brady recommends selecting food items featuring different colors and textures, as well as sweet, salty and smoky selections, that will complement each other. In addition, since presentation is all-important, you’ll want to give your board or other foundation some thought. Natural wood serving boards offer a trendy and rustic look, but you can achieve different aesthetics by going with marble, slate, ceramic or other bases.