“Charcuterie Houses Are This Year's Most Festive Holiday Treat,” says a post from Emily VanSchmus on Martha Stewart dot com. I know this because several people have tweeted about it, prompting a discussion in our work chat this morning about the merits of opting for a charcuterie house over a gingerbread house this holiday season. I invite you now, on this Wednesday before a long holiday weekend, to think about it yourself, because what else are you doing other than avoiding work? We’re all doing it. I’m just typing. Type type type.
“i dont like gingerbread houses because its too much sweets” somebody from my work said, in favor of the charcuterie house. “martha never misses” said somebody else. “charcuterie house.... .DISGUSTING!” said another person.
But what is a charcuterie house, you might be asking? Well, I think the concept is fairly easy to conceive of, but I’ll tell you what VanSchmus says. “Charcuterie houses are the newest holiday food trend you'll want to try ASAP,” she writes. “Yes, you read that right: The latest holiday food trend involves swapping out gingerbread, icing, and candy for cold cuts, cheese cubes, and fresh veggies.”
This is the accompanying Instagram photo:
I would say this is more of a breadstick house, since a gingerbread house is named such because the structure is made of gingerbread, and the structure here is made of breadsticks, but we don’t need to quibble. It’s a “charcuterie house,” sure. I think this is great. Delicious. Festive. Creative. Imagine instead of a charcuterie board during the holidays, you go to a party and they have a charcuterie house. “So the host put their fingers all over every piece of this?” would be the first thing I’d think, but after having some holiday punch I’d probably forget.
Though — and again I don’t want to quibble, but I think what makes the “gingerbread house” festive in the holiday sense is the inclusion of gingerbread, which is for some reason a holiday flavor. A charcuterie house … that’s just a house. I’m not sure a “house” is festive alone; the association with holiday gingerbread houses is sort of tenuous, but I guess it’s enough to suffice. It does open up more possibilities though. You can have a charcuterie house anytime — it doesn’t just have to be about the holidays. You can have a charcuterie house in July. You can have it in August.
So, that’s that idea. Charcuterie house. Maybe you want to make one this weekend?