Charcuterie Wreaths Are a Festive Way To Eat Cheese This Holiday
Whether your plans for this Christmas include family, friends or just the company of your pets, any scenario, any group meeting in-person or in spirit can be dramatically improved by the addition of charcuterie.
Technically, the term “charcuterie” refers solely to cold, (often) cooked meats — but colloquially, Americans use the term “charcuterie board” to refer to a dazzling display of small foodie delights.
It’s snacking is elevated (and validated) in an art form.
The beauty is that there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re feeling salty or sweet, healthy or indulgent, there’s something for them.
Nuts. Fruit. Olives. Cheese. Salami. Crackers. All of life’s goodness in one spot, and in small enough amounts that you don’t feel guilty.
And this year, people are really getting creative putting a festive spin on the classic by crafting their own gorgeous “charcuterie wreaths” (or if you’re feeling extra cutesy, “charcuter-wreath”).
Nowhere else would “cheese bows” and “meat flowers” sound appealing, but in an edible Christmas arrangement they have a place.
Most examples start as any wreath would: With a good base greenery on a cutting board or tray. Many artists choose to use rosemary as the primary plant, as it looks like pine needles and has a lovely scent. Other herbs that make an appearance include sage and dill, though any edible greenery is suitable.
Next, the tasty treasures get tucked in. It’s often easier to start with your main attractions — cheese, meats, anything that will take up the most space — and fill in the little spots as you go.
Cheese can be pre-cut or left whole, and salami and prosciutto can be rolled, folded or arranged to look like flowers. Sliced apples and pears, whole grapes, and sugared cranberries can all provide nice pops of red.
Final touches include dried nuts, pomegranate seeds and olives.
Don’t like something? Leave it out. Like something that you don’t see included? Add it in.
You don’t have to break the bank buying imported cheeses, either — even a humble block of cheddar and some apple slices can add cheer to your evening.
The charcuterie wreath is non-judgmental and can be as dressed-up or scaled-back as you want. And if you don’t trust your hand or eye to come up with something stunning, there are plenty of reference photos online as well as time-lapse videos that are highly educational.
Make one for a cozy evening by the fire. Make one for a neighbor. Make a dog-appropriate one for your furry friend.
The holidays this year might feel a little weird, but as always, they will be what we make of them — and making this wreath part of your Christmas is one way to celebrate the simple joys in life.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.