Dear Crabby, Why are Charcuterie Boards Suddenly So Popular?

Dear Crabby,

Last Friday, a bunch of couples got together for Friendsgiving and the hostess had an entire kitchen table covered in a labyrinth of meats and cheeses. All the women ‘oooh-ed’ and ‘ahh-ed’ over this display, which I guess is called a charcuterie board. Have you heard of these and if so, what do you think about them?

Chet Mixx

Dear Chet Mixx,

Unfortunately, I have heard of charcuterie boards. In fact, Mrs. Crabby is insisting we have one in the place of Christmas dinner! I am not a fan of replacing our delicious traditional Christmas meal with a choo-choo board. That’s what I call it, which gets a rise out of Mrs. Crabby. But apparently what my stomach wants doesn’t matter, so if we’re going to have this choo-choo board, I decided to investigate further to learn more about it.  

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

For those of you who care about such things, the correct way to pronounce charcuterie is ‘shaar-koo-tr-ee.’ That’s French for ‘cooked flesh’. Sounds, um, delicious? And while people started going crazy over these boards last year, they’ve been around since the 15th century. So, I guess it’s true what they say, if you wait around long enough, everything comes back in fashion. And it seems like this time around we can blame their resurgence in popularity on the millennials and their need to take and post pictures of everything like they’re Annie Leibovitz.

If you can believe it, people are actually getting paid to create these over-the-top boards. Just head over to Pinterest and you’ll see all sorts of fancy shapes – hearts, flowers, Christmas trees, stars – you name it. Connoisseurs call it ‘food art.’ To me, it looks like most of the Boar’s Head selection from Kroger. In fact, some of these boards look too pretty to eat. Where are you supposed to start? Is there some sort of proper etiquette? Can I go back more than once? I have so many questions. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments. I’d like to be prepared when Christmas day rolls around. Now, if you’re going to make one of these edible works of art, I asked Mr. Google what should be included, and here are some examples of what the so-called ‘experts’ recommend you use:

  • Salami – Italian dry, Dry soppressata (fancy salami), Saucisson sec (French salami)
  • Prosciutto
  • Coppa (pork cold cut)  
  • Pepperoni
  • Brie
  • Gouda
  • Aged cheddar
  • Goat Cheese

Apparently, you can also add fruits, olives, nuts, crackers, and other stuff too. But surprise, surprise, Kraft American cheese slices and beef jerky are no-nos. Go figure. So, while I’m not happy my Christmas dinner is being taken over by a choo-choo board, I’m willing to give it a try. I’ll also have Little Caesars pizza on speed dial in case it all goes wrong.

Happy eating!
Dear Crabby

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at


  1. Dear crabby. I suggest you read a short and enjoyable book titled” A man called OVE” He is like your Norwegian Grand Uncle

  2. Dear Mr. Crabby, I asked Mr. Google why charcuterie boards were a thing now and they led me straight to you. Thanks for straightening it out for me. I hope your Christmas food is good whatever it is!

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