What is Charcuterie?
~The History Of~
Charcuterie (/ʃɑːrˈkuːtəri/ (listen) shar-KOO-tər-ee, also US: /ʃɑːrˌkuːtəˈriː/ (listen) -EE; French: [ʃaʁkyt(ə)ʁi] (listen); from chair, 'flesh', and cuit, 'cooked') is a French term for a branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork.
Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef's repertoire. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes.
The French word for a person who practices charcuterie is charcutier. The etymology of the word is the combination of chair and cuite, or cooked flesh. The Food Lover's Companion says, "it refers to the products, particularly (but not limited to) pork specialties such as pâtés, rillettes, galantines, crépinettes, etc., which are made and sold in a delicatessen-style shop, also called a charcuterie." The 1961 edition of Larousse Gastronomique defines it as "[t]he art of preparing various meats, in particular pork, in order to present them in the most diverse ways."
What it is Today?
So now that we have learned what charcuterie is at lest from a historical point of view, we know that charcuterie has evolved into more than just preserved meat. We now display high quality foods in all their richness of flavor and colors to foods such as cookies, chips, and even candy.