Classic charcuterie platters and snack boards are great for easy outdoor snacking, but they can get messy with multiple hands potentially touching the food. But this newest trend takes the “communal” out of the communal snack platter – instead, you can easily create individual snack jars, or jarcuterie, for your guests.
What is jarcuterie?
Quite simply, jarcuterie is charcuterie in a jar. While traditional charcuterie boards are usually meat-heavy, we’ve expanded the concept to mean any form of snack medley that uses items with varying textures, colors and flavors for a tasty snacking experience.
A jarring advantage over traditional charcuterie
Jarcuterie has a couple of advantages over traditional snack platters or charcuterie boards. Firstly, they are more sanitary. Everyone gets their own jar, without ever having to touch the same food or utensils. Another advantage is that they can stay in the fridge until your guests are ready for them. Do you have guests popping by all afternoon? No need for your snacks to sit outside all day in the sun. Simply keep them in the fridge and pull out the appropriate amount when needed.
How to build your own
You don’t need a recipe to build your own jarcuterie, you just need some glass jars, wooden skewers and to keep a few guidelines in mind.
- Choose a flavor or a theme: This can be based on whatever you have on hand. For example, do you have a jar of pesto? Build an Italian-style jar with pesto at the bottom and skewers of Italian meats and cheeses.
- Add visual interest: Choose vegetables of different colors to make them standout. Also, use skewers, herbs and vegetables of different height.
- Combine sweet and salty: Think Danish blue cheese and grapes, or pear with camembert cheese.
- Don’t forget some crunch: Breadsticks, nuts and even fruits and vegetables can give you that satisfying crunch to round off your jarcuterie.
Follow the above easy guidelines and you’ll have a colorful, tasty jar to serve up this weekend. Don’t feel like being creative? We reached out to our chef and recipe tester, Sarah Sweeney, to come up with a couple of eye-catching jarcuterie recipes – and she delivered two masterpieces for you to try.