From Italy with flavour: the perfect charcuterie board
The charcuterie board is one of the most important elements of the traditional appetizer in Southern Italy and Calabria, which is characterized by the presence of both hot and cold dishes. The appetizer may contain seafood or land food but also a mix of the two, the so-called mare e monti, in which different ingredients meet each other in an interesting fusion of flavours, if they are wisely paired.
The cutting board is always present in the Italian kitchens because it is the perfect tool for slicing cured meats, which are one of the most characteristic food of our land. In restaurants, or even at home, serving a "tagliere" means putting together salumi already sliced or to be sliced directly on the wooden board: capocollo, prosciutto, sausage and soppressata are almost always present along with aged cheeses, preserves in oil and jams.
How to consume cured meats and cheeses
The main elements of the charcuterie board, and therefore of the appetizer, are the typical Italian cured meats and cheeses. We advise you to remove them from the fridge about thirty minutes before the meal, so that they can release all their fragrance and re-gain their authentic flavour.
Another important tip is related to cured meats vacuum-packed. We always recommend to our customers to remove the meats and cheeses from the vacuum at least one day before the actual consumption, store them in the fridge and slice them with a knife well sharpened. The same goes for the traditional Caciocavallo Silano PDO and smoked ricotta that together with the cured meats make your charcuterie board an excellent appetizer for your dinners and aperitifs.
The preserves and pickles in oil are an element that embellishes the charcuterie board and allows you to serve a complete cold appetizer. There are many combinations, for example the chili peppers filled with ‘nduja or the sliced red onions of Tropea are exceptional along with a good glass of red wine. In this way, the starters become a moment of gathering where we can enjoy the company of the people we care for most. The charcuterie board can also be accompanied by croutons on which you may spread the 'nduja or, alternatively, you can prepare some Calabrian bruschette with ingredients in oil such as dried tomatoes, red peppers, onions and green olives.
Cured Meats and Italian Salami
The cured meats however occupy the central role in the charcuterie board: capocollo, pancetta, sausage and soppressata. Spicy or sweet, the cured meats and salami are fundamental for the traditional starters in Calabria and they are always present for special occasions or during holidays. Another advice that we feel to share is to remove the casings from sausages before consumption, for a better tasting experience.
Preparing a charcuterie board as a starter full of cold cuts, cheeses, preserves in oil and accompanying it with a good wine is an act of complicity and friendship. In the age of the digital sharing, gathering around a charcuterie board could make us put away the smartphone and enjoy the company of others as it once was, in a healthier and genuine way.