Caroline Koehl (CAS '22)

Caroline Koehl is a third year student studying International Relations and Environmental Analysis & Policy. She is from Minneapolis, MN, but you can find her at your local IKEA.

Charcuterie is really having a moment right now. Whether it be using up an entire kitchen island to construct an absolute monstrosity of a charcuterie board or excessively handling slices of hard salami to make them look like the petals of a delicate rose, people are really taking their charcuterie game to the next level. 

While all this talk of elaborate boards might sound intimidating to a beginner trying to break into the charcuterie game, don’t worry! The mainstream media doesn’t want to tell you this, but anything can be a charcuterie board if you really try. Mind blowing, I know!

What do I mean by this? I mean that, as long as you put some stuff on a plate and call it a charcuterie, it is indeed charcuterie! For example, last weekend I was feeling a little peckish, so I threw a few grapes, some apple slices, and half a banana on a plate, and BOOM! Fruit charcuterie! Then later that day, I was doing a little painting project (making a funky little sign that says ‘Kiss the Charcuterie’ for my kitchen), so I put a bunch of different colors of paint on my palette. You know what I like to call that? Paint charcuterie of course. You’re catching on fast! 

Okay, one more example. Last weekend I was in this restaurant doing COVID indoor dining, and they just had the fanciest bathroom. It was there where I saw an amazing innovation in charcuterie: the menstrual charcuterie. A silver tray with a few tampons and pads displayed on top, free for the taking. So that’s what I did, I took the whole tampon charcuterie home with me, tray and all.

This is a super fun and easy DIY for you to try at home. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making your very own 

– Your items must be on a plate, tray, or board! This is the defining feature of charcuterie. If it’s on one of these receptacles, it’s charcuterie, regardless of its contents. If it’s not, then it’s just sad and regular stuff.

– Make a little arrangement if you’re feeling fancy. This isn’t required, but making a little smiley face is always a cute, classy little touch!

– Be sure to call your creation a charcuterie, and insist that others call it that as well. This is non-negotiable. Charcuterie is all about the brand, not the contents, so be sure to rudely correct anyone who uses improper terminology. If your “friend” Jessica deigns to call your pillow charcuterie a “pile of pillows,” reconsider your friendship altogether.

I hope you enjoyed my word charcuterie! Haha just kidding, of course this isn’t charcuterie–it isn’t on a plate silly goose!

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