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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.
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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.
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Must-Try Jarcuterie Recipes
Spanish-Style Jarcuterie Recipe
Skewers of Manchego cheese and figs, and chorizo and tomatoes stand tall in these cute charcuterie jars (aka jarcuterie) with a base of spiced almonds and olives.
- To a medium skillet on medium-high, add one-half of oil and almonds. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine paprika, salt and cayenne. When almonds are lightly toasted, remove from heat and stir in spices. Transfer almonds to a bowl and wipe out the skillet.
- Return skillet to medium heat. Heat remaining one-half of oil. Add garlic, allow to sizzle for 30 seconds. Stir in olives, chopped rosemary and lemon zest. Heat for 1 minute then and remove from heat.
- Using one-half of wooden skewers, skewer cheese and fig halves, alternating between them. Using remaining one-half of skewers, skewer chorizo and tomatoes, alternating between them.
- Assemble jars: Divide almonds among jars. Top with olives and 1 of each skewer. Garnish each with a rosemary sprig. (You can make and assemble jars up to 1 day ahead. Cover loosely and refrigerate until ready to serve.)
Smoky Tomato Dip & Halloumi Jarcuterie
A quick tomato mixture using pepper flakes and cumin makes a great dipping sauce for cucumbers, carrots and artichoke hearts in these individual charcuterie jars. Here, we also skewer halloumi cheese for a salty bite.