A charcuterie board is a delightful dish that is enjoyed across different cultures. This dish contains fancy products and is a good luxury meal to enjoy as a personal treat or serve it to show off your culinary skills and impress your guests.
While on a recent trip to Europe, I was treated to one heavenly charcuterie board feast and got interested to know more about its preparation.
I wasn’t surprised why one would have to part with approximately $50 and $200 for a charcuterie board. The high price of a charcuterie board is dependent on the size, material, and foods that are showcased.
So, here is what I gathered about this mouthwatering dish.
A charcuterie board is expensive because it is made with high-quality meat that takes a long time to produce. There is also the emerging issue of high welfare for animals and better diets due to stringent animal rights requirements across the global food market. Also, it can take months or even years to make a proper charcuterie board making the end product costly.
What is a Charcuterie Board?
Charcuterie is a culinary specialty that includes neatly prepared meat dishes. These include; ham, bacon, sausage, galantines, terrines, ballotines, confit, and pâtés.
There are two main types of meat dishes used in a charcuterie board:
- Cured meats such as prosciutto that are preserved through salting, smoking, or air-drying.
- Cooked meats that are cooked in fat, resulting in a dish that can be stored for a long time.
The cheeses and meats are arranged on a platter or board, while other accompaniments like crackers or bread are placed around them. Guests can then help themselves to the foods they want to eat.
Charcuterie boards can be made ahead of time or assembled just before serving. They can be small or large depending on the number of people you are serving.
The contents of a Charcuterie board also vary depending on the people’s preferences.
How Much Does a Charcuterie Board Cost?
Expect it to range anywhere from $50 to $100 for a small board that serves four to six people. For a large board that serves eight to ten people, you could spend upwards of $200.
Charcuterie boards are costly because they look impressive and offer various flavors and textures. They can be customized to fit dietary restrictions such as vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free. Just be ready to spend a bit of money on it if it’s a specialty.
There are many different types of charcuterie boards, but the most common ones include:
- Meat and cheese boards: These boards usually include a variety of meats, cheeses, crackers, and bread.
- Antipasto boards: These boards include meats, cheeses, vegetables, and olives.
- Vegetarian boards: These boards can include a variety of vegetables, cheeses, crackers, and bread.
- Fruit and cheese boards: These boards usually include a variety of fruits, cheeses, and crackers.
- Dessert boards: These boards can include a variety of sweets, fruits, and nuts.
What Makes Charcuterie Boards So Expensive?
Here are five reasons I came across that make charcuterie boards so expensive to buy right now:
i. Longer Preparation Time
Charcuterie boards take time to assemble. And as the popularity of charcuterie boards has grown, so has the demand for them.
This means that it takes longer to make a charcuterie board than it did in the past. As stated earlier, it takes months or even years instead of days.
ii. Increased Cost of Ingredients in the Global Market
The main ingredients in a charcuterie board are meat and cheese. And the cost of meat, cheese, and other ingredients has gone up in recent years because of many factors, including the cost of feed for livestock.
iii. An Increase in the Cost of Transportation
The ingredients in a charcuterie board often need to be transported from different parts of the country or the world. This can add to the cost of the board.
iv. High Costs of Labor and Rent
As the popularity of charcuterie boards has increased, so have labor costs. It takes time to assemble a charcuterie board, and businesses need to pay their employees for their time.
The cost of property rent has risen in recent years, which is why the price of a charcuterie board has increased. Businesses need to pay more to keep their doors open, and this cost is usually passed on to customers.
v. High Cost of Packaging Material
The packaging costs have also risen in recent years. This is because businesses need to use more durable packaging to keep the contents of the charcuterie board fresh.
This can add to the cost of the board, especially if you’re buying it from a store that ships the boards.
Is a Charcuterie Board Worth It?
Charcuterie boards are absolutely worth it. They are a great way to impress your guests and ensure they have a good time.
They are also a luxurious treat to enjoy as a special treat.
Here are some reasons why a charcuterie board is worth the high cost:
1. It Is a Great Way to Show Off Your Culinary Skills
Charcuterie boards are a great way to show off your culinary skills. If you can make a beautiful and delicious charcuterie board, it will impress your guests and leave them wanting more.
2. It Is an Ideal Way to Show Your Hospitality
Everyone wants to impress their guests with a hospitable treat.
Having a charcuterie board on the menu shows that you’ve taken the time to think about what your guests will enjoy and ensure they have a good time.
3. It’s a Conversation Starter
Charcuterie boards offer an excellent platform to kick off a conversation. They give you and your guests something to talk about, and they can help break the ice if you’re meeting someone for the first time.
4. You Can Customize Your Board
When you make your charcuterie board, you can choose the meats, cheeses, and other ingredients that you want to include. This means that you can tailor the board to your taste.
5. It’s Insta Worthy
The beauty of the visual presentation is undeniable. Charcuterie boards always add an aesthetic touch, whether you choose to go all out or prefer a minimalist design.
They are incredibly photogenic when captured on camera for social media posts during your next dinner party.
Where to Buy a Charcuterie Board
Some of the places where you can buy a charcuterie board include; grocery stores, food stores, and online retailers.
- Many grocery stores now sell charcuterie boards. This is a suitable option if you want a quick and easy way to get your hands on a board.
- If you’re looking for a more upscale option, you can try buying a charcuterie board from a specialty food store. This is good, especially when you want to find a board made with high-quality ingredients.
- If you’re looking for a wide selection of charcuterie boards, you can try buying one from an online retailer. This is best if you want to compare prices and find the perfect board for your needs.