Cold cuts or charcuterie boards are very popular in France! They are appetizers in a form of sliced pieces of the pre-cooked or cured meats including ham, bacon, salami, roast meat, saucisson sec (French-style dry sausage), etc. It can be served cold or hot with cheeses, dried fruits, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, bread, crackers, and other condiments.
Those meats used in cold cuts are mainly made of pork, beef, and turkey. Some examples of popular fruits and veggies are grapes, berries, kiwi, orange slices, tomatoes, olives, carrots, cucumber, and celery for a healthy alternative. Plus, many choices of cheeses like Provolone, Pecorino, blue cheese, and cream cheese, based on their textures. There are so much more ingredients that can be used as well.
Cold cuts have been around for more than 6000 years. It all started around 500 B.C. when the ancient Romans tried to cure meats by salting and smoking for a longer conservation time. Since the empire spread, several ways of processing and curing meat changed from region to region. In the 1700s, the invention of sandwiches by the Earl of Sandwich also popularized these kinds of meats and finally become our everyday items.
Bayonne Ham Fair (Foire au Jambon)
This joyful event has been held annually during Easter week in Bayonne, France since 1462! It is highly recommended for all the cold cuts lovers because they organize several local butcher shops and some interesting competitions like the “Best Ham Contest”. During the fair, people can shop, meet local butchers, and participate in activities such as the parade of Guilds as well as concerts from the Bayonne choirs.
Bayonne Ham Fair is a good opportunity for visitors to try out different forms of meats plus other products from the region and enjoy favorite cold cuts with some wine in a colorful and flavorful atmosphere.
You can simply prepare a cold cut board by cutting meats and all ingredients into small servings. Then arrange them randomly in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes all over the platter. Make sure to use several types of cheeses and serve the dish fresh.
Anyway, there is no right or wrong way for preparing cold cuts. You can use any variety of ingredients and arrange them up to your creativity and preferences!
How to Eat Cold Cuts
There is no rule on how to eat cold cuts, just mix and match stuff on the plate and enjoy! You can place slices of meat on a piece of bread, dip them in sauce such as Dijon Mustard, or even eat a single piece of your choice. Moreover, cold cuts always taste better with a good drink which wine and cocktails are highly recommended.
Cold cuts are not only an easy and quick meal, but they also have nutritional values that are high in protein and contain vitamins and minerals. Yet you should seek a low-sodium option and avoid too frequently consuming processed meats for a healthier diet.
At Cava Bien Marché, we serve high-quality cheese and cold cuts by your choice so that you can enjoy your favorite items and go with healthy ingredients.
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