Want to throw a fancy cocktail party or impress your friends? Invite them over and serve them a French “charcuterie plate” or “charcuterie board” of dried cured meats that are artful masterpieces. Not sure which cured meats to put on your cheese plate? Here are 8 types of cured meats popular in France-described and explained.
8 types of cured meats for your Charcuterie board and
The world owes France and French culture a debt of gratitude for introducing to the world to its wonderful French food, excellent wine and its many fine cheeses, which are practically a national obsession.
If the French consider something is worth eating, it’s worth eating by the rest of us too.
Take Charcuterie (shahr-kyu-tuh-ree) for instance, which is simply a smoked, cured or cooked meat. In France, serving a charcuterie board of cured meats, aka cold cuts, alongside a variety of cheeses, bread, fruits, and other tasty nibbly bits is actually quite common- not only at parties but also for family get-togethers because it not only looks beautiful but tastes fantastic and is easy to put together.
Although you could easily put any cured meats and cold cuts on a charcuterie tray, if you really want to wow your guests, you should consider adding some higher-end cured meats to your charcuterie board; some of which are made in France and some of which are made in neighbouring European countries.
1. Jambon de
Bayonne (The French Prosciutto)
If you really want to class up your charcuterie platter, you need to include the most famous French cured ham, jambon de
This premium cured ham is named after
Similar to how champagne can only be called champagne if it’s produced in the Champagne region of France, producers of
It can be difficult to find this premium cold cut outside of Europe. Luckily, there are sites online where you can order this beloved French cured meat, but you may have to buy a huge 12 to a 15-pound leg, which you then have to mount on to a ham holder (support de jambon). Don’t worry; it’s cured, so you can keep it for months.
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If you can’t find French jambon de
Jambon de Savoie (Savoy ham)
Fine food purveyors will love
This delicious ham is also richer and saltier tasting than
Coppa, pork counterpart of the air-dried, cured beef Bresaola, is also called capicolla or capocollo.
Although not French, Italian Coppa ham is an extremely popular type of cured meat. French people love to add to their charcuterie boards. It’s actually very similar in taste to prosciutto. However, unlike
Before being salted and stuffed into a natural casing and hung for up to six months to cure, coppa is first lightly seasoned- sometimes with white or red wine, garlic, and various herbs and
5. Bresaola Beef
Unlike the vast majority of cured meats you’ll typically find on a French charcuterie platter, bresaola is made from beef instead of pork. Like Coppa, before this Italian cured meat is air-cured, it’s seasoned with a dry rub of salt and
The result is a very rich tasting, soft and tender meat for your charcuterie plate. It can also be eaten on its own similar how you might eat beef Carpaccio- sliced thin and drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil and maybe even a little bit of parmesan.
6. Speck Ham
Speck from the Tyrol region of Italy is like a smoked variation of prosciutto. Before the speck is cured, the pig’s hindquarters are rubbed with various
Saucisson Sec (French-style dry sausage)
This thick, French sausage is dry-cured, and while it’s typically made of pork, it can also be made from pork and a mixture of other meats. Similar to North America’s summer sausage or Italy’s dry-cured salamis, the recipe for
A popular Spanish cured meat, Lomo
Variety of cured meats
If you’re unable to find any of the cured meats from this list, or you’re in a hurry, here are some variety packs of cured meats for your charcuterie boards.
- Artisanal, Uncured, Nitrate-Free Salamis made in the San Francisco Bay Area
- Naturally Cured, Old-World Style, All Natural, Mold and paper wrapped
- Small family company has been making salamis in the Bay Area since 1937
- You will receive one each of Pepperoni, 5 Alarm Habanero, Cabernet Wine, Fennel & Pepper, San Francisco Style, & Hot Toscano
- 8oz sticks. The perfect gift for the food lover in your life!
Things you can add to your Charcuterie platter
Making a Charcuterie platter is almost like making a work of art. It’s really up to you what you add. Here are a few classic accompaniements that are commonly found on French Charcuterie platters.
The classic slate board makes a great cheese board or Charcuterie board to serve your favourite cheeses and cured meats at dinner parties. Use chalk to identify the different food items on the platter.