The best part of charcuterie is your ability to make it your own. Like a personal pizza or a secret family recipe, adding your own flair will make your preserved meats stand out from the crowd. In terms of charcuterie, while drying, curing or smoking may create standard flavors, it is your own unique flavoring agents that will give your meats character. Check out these spices for sprucing up your charcuterie. Try them out, decide what you like best and tweak your recipe to make it as unique as you are!
1. Rosemary: Rosemary has been used for ages to provide its woodsy, citrusy flavor to dishes across the world. It has amazing health benefits, including being a great source of Vitamins A and C; providing antioxidant properties, vision protection, healthy skin and protection from lung and mouth cancers, and protecting blood vessels, organs, skin and bones. While it can be used to flavor any meat, it is used in many beef-based recipes.
2. Dry mustard powder: We’ve talked extensively about the value of mustard as a dipping sauce, but dry mustard powder is terrific as a rub for preserved meat. While it has no smell while dry, it will provide a pleasant aroma and flavor once the meat starts to cure. Mustard seeds provide antioxidant properties, phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids and healthy minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium and phosphorous. With black, brown and yellow mustard seeds to choose from, this can be a game changer in your charcuterie.
3. Citrus: Lemon zest, orange zest, lime juice, lemon grass—there are so many ways to incorporate the amazing properties of citrus into your charcuterie platter. While charcuterie is typically a heavy dish, the amazing properties of citrus will definitely add a lighter touch. Citrus flavors pair best with lighter meats like chicken, turkey and fish.
4. Cinnamon: It’s not just for dessert. If you want guests to bite into your meat and wonder what that delicious flavor is, go for cinnamon. It will add an unexpected depth to your meat. Incorporate cinnamon by itself or mix it with spicier notes like cayenne and chili powder for an ode to Thai food.
5. Mint: Full of vital vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin A, C and B2, mint is known to decrease the risk of certain cancers and add important antioxidant properties. It can add a coolness to spicy dishes and a freshness to heavy dishes.