Ditch The Boring Boards, It's Time For Charcuterie Towers

Charcuterie Tower
Charcuterie Tower - Reddit / rega619

Charcuterie boards are a great way to impress your guests. The Instagrammable appetizer trays have grown in popularity in the U.S. in recent years, but the concept of charcuterie is believed to be centuries old. Dating from 15th-century France, the word "charcuterie" is French for "cured meat," although ideas for today's charcuterie spreads showcase much more than slices of salami and prosciutto.

Through the years, charcuterie boards have become increasingly innovative. From "charcuterie" dessert boards full of cookies and chocolates to boards made almost entirely out of butter, the variations are seemingly endless. But the next step in charcuterie creativity isn't new ingredients; it's more about how the ingredients are presented. Creative charcuterie lovers are ditching boards in favor of gravity-defying towers. If a traditional charcuterie board is too "basic" for your tastes, get ready to elevate your hors d'oeuvres to the next level -- literally. This playful new way to serve meats, cheeses, and other savory bites might seem more challenging than traditional boards, but with a foam cone and a handful of toothpicks, you can build a charcuterie tower that will give a boring appetizer tray new dimensions.

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Build A Holiday Charcute-Tree

Charcuterie Christmas tree
Charcuterie Christmas tree - Instagram / Tastyuk

Assembling a charcuterie tower is straightforward: purchase a foam cone like the ones used for crafts, and attach the snacks to the cone with toothpicks. If you don't love the idea of placing food against foam, you can first wrap the cone in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before assembling your tower.

You'll be the favorite guest at the next Christmas party you attend if you bring a charcuterie Christmas tree. Make it extra festive by adding springs of rosemary, oregano, or basil to resemble a pine tree, complete with a star-shaped piece of cheese on top. The internet can't get enough of this stylish new serving style. One user on Reddit called the charcuterie tower a "charcutree." Another joked, "Call the Grinch because imma take that tree."

Although towering charcuterie trees are certainly show-stoppers, they might not be the most practical way to serve the spread to your guests. Similarly to the popular charcuterie chalet, charcuterie towers need to be structurally sound for guests to fully enjoy them. Nothing screams "party foul" quite like a 3-foot charcuterie tree toppling when someone takes out a cherry tomato. If serving a towering meat-and-cheese-and-more Christmas tree makes you nervous, consider building a flat, two-dimensional tree on a serving board.

Towering Alternatives

Charcuterie board
Charcuterie board - PVstock/Shutterstock

The tree-like cone shape is not the only way to participate in the charcuterie tower trend this holiday season. Stick with the vertical charcuterie idea but avoid a Jenga-like catastrophe by building individual charcuterie towers loaded with your favorite meats, cheeses, pickles, and olives speared on small kebab skewers. If you prefer a presentation with a classy look, pull inspiration from Champagne towers and fill a pyramid of wine or martini glasses with an array of antipasto. Whether you prefer classic cubes of cheddar and slices of salami, or imported olives stuffed with feta paired with exotic fruits, these party-ready glasses will display them in style when stacked on top of one another.

Since the holidays are over before you know it, you can revisit the idea of charcuterie towers to celebrate special occasions all year long. Build a Valentine's Day charcuterie tower covered in chocolate-covered strawberries and wrapped chocolates. A towering charcuterie built of meats, cheeses, and pickles would make a game-day buffet centerpiece worth cheering. Use toothpicks to attach salami, various olives, and bite-size mozzarella balls to create an antipasto charcuterie tower. A summer garden party could be the perfect setting for a tower featuring fresh summer fruits like strawberries, cherries, and plums.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.