Over the last year, charcuterie boards have taken over social media. So many people have been jumping on the trend by sharing videos of themselves on Instagram and TikTok making boards in new and creative ways such as sushi boards or pizza boards. But not all boards are created equally. Some of what we see as charcuterie boards aren’t actually charcuterie boards. How? You may be wondering. Well, we spoke with the owner of The Bougie Grazer Shandra Turner and she schooled us on the difference.
“'Charcuterie' is just the cured meat that goes on the board. It has nothing to do with the cheese or anything like that. Cheese just [accompanies] the meats but 'charcuterie' is just a fancier way (and a French word) of saying 'meat' and that’s all it really is,” she says.
“What you’ve been seeing out there are more so 'graze boards' but everyone likes to say the word 'charcuterie,' so it’s been dubbed as 'charcuterie' but really it’s a 'graze board' where it would have those wings on it or chips or a 'nacho board' or just kind of any of those things that you can put together and everyone can just come together around a board and just kind of nosh on what they enjoy or what they want. It gives everyone choices.”
Meaning, the next time you come across a dessert board or a brunch board on social media or you decide to hop on the craze, remember to call it what it really is, a graze board.
For Shandra, The Bougie Grazer started off as a way to keep her creative juices flowing outside of working a corporate job. After sharing videos of herself making charcuterie boards on social media and building a following, she began receiving inquiries about workshops. She started her first charcuterie board workshop in 2021 around Valentine’s Day and she continued having workshops and even partnered with Atlanta Georgia’s Bellyard Hotel for classes.
But The Bougie Grazer is more than just a charcuterie board business, it includes many other products and services such as lavish graze tables, picnic basket rentals in the summer, watermelon cakes, and fruit carving. And she calls her business “therapeutic” and her saving grace.
“I feel like if I can do it, anybody can do it. Just get started. This business is literally therapeutic and it saved my life. I was on the couch wondering what I was gonna do next after pivoting from a career and I just picked something that I do all the time and I made a business out of it,” she explains.
"So, if you knit booties all the time or if you make cakes all the time, take it and turn it into a hustle. So, you know, just don’t give up on yourself, and don’t feel like you’re too old to pivot in any industry or do something different.”
However, with charcuterie boards being a huge trend, Shandra hopes to “ride this wave and see where it takes me.” Making charcuterie boards is a fun activity you can do by yourself or with others. Whether you decide to have it for a party or as an appetizer before your dinner, remember to keep it fun. Here's a few tips and tricks:
It's all about variety.
While charcuterie is just meats, it's good to have a variety of meats on the board. Some go-to's are chorizos or prosciuttos. But you can also add different types of cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and more.
Get in touch with your creative side.
One of the popular trends we see with charcuterie boards is making a salami rose. Shandra shared an easy tutorial on her IG that included using a cup to shape the salami into a rose.
Fill in the gaps.
When creating a charcuterie board, you not only want to make it look appetizing but you want to make it look full. Once you create your base, you can throw in other items such as crackers, spreads like hummus, or garnish to fill the board.
Follow Shandra on Facebook at Bougie Grazer and Instagram @thebougiegrazer.
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Feature image by @thebougiegrazer/ Instagram