Charcuterie Chalets are 2020's Biggest TrendPosted on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 | By Nicole Easterday |
Move over gingerbread house - the Charcuterie Chalet (Fromage Cottage?) is here! It's edible, it's adorable, it's keto friendly and everyone wants one!
Some cheese friends shared a picture of what was coined a charcuterie chalet on Facebook and I immediately knew I needed to do one.
The only rule I made for myself was that the entire thing had to be edible. That meant no short-cuts on the structure itself. I used a homemade cracker dough and cut it into the sides and roof of the house. After a couple of tries, I honestly handed it off to my husband who has a much better eye for this sort of detail and he returned to me a perfectly perfect template. I wasn't sure how to hold the cracker together so I experimented with several different edible glues and landed on cream cheese. It held together much better than I expected and even worked as spackle to fill some irregularities in the cracker base.
I loved the idea of a shingled appearance to the roof and I experimented with both cheese and charcuterie but landed on salami. Getting it to stick was tricky because salami releases oils at room temperature but I eventually figured out a technique that worked well. The chimney was a homemade cracker square that I originally thought would made a cute flagstone-style path. I added cream cheese show to the top.
Seriously, the snowman might be my favorite part of the whole thing. If you don't have the patience to build the rest of this, do yourself a favor and at least build the snowman! Mine is Laura Chenel Black Truffle Chèvre rolled into different sized balls. The hat and scarf are 100% prosciutto. The mouth and eyes are black peppercorns, the nose is carrot and the buttons are freeze-dried strawberries. Even his little stick arms are edible - rosemary sprigs!
As with any project like this, it's all about the details. The cottage is lovingly decorated with marcona almonds to give an exposed stone appearance just below the eaves. The snow is shaved Parmeggiano Reggiano (the real thing because I am a Certified Cheese Professional, after all). The window sill is genuine Comté cheese. The wreath is one of my other favorite details, made from broccoli and romanesco. Holiday lights are created with freeze-dried strawberry pieces (pomegranate seeds would have been great too) and dried pineapple pieces.
As far as I can tell, a gingerbread house is not really meant to be eaten - it sits for weeks as a reminder of your next dental appointment. The Fromage Cottage, however, is designed to enjoy that day. While most of the components are shelf-stable (hard cheese, veggies, crackers, nuts), there are some items that require refrigeration and proper food safety attention. Eat it up - it will never be more delicious than it is right now!
A Final Note:
Based on comments online people seem really freaked out about two things so I thought I'd address their concerns:
- I've seen this charcuterie chalet described as a 'food safety disaster', which is a bit alarmist (I'm a food professional). Most of the items are shelf stable and those that aren't are kept cool until used. The chalet isn't meant to stay out for days (weeks?) like a gingerbread house - you make and eat it right away.
- I know we're all extra focused on germs right now and lots of commenters online were nervous about how much this chalet must have been touched while being built. I tried to build it with my magic want but when that failed I resort to wearing tight-fitting food safe gloves. Also, the importance of hand-washing can't be overstated and for goodness sake, don't lick your fingers! :-)
Learn how to do the details in our virtual workshop!
If you'd like to learn to make your own, check out our virtual Charcuterie Chalet workshop where you can learn all the tips and tricks for making an Instagram worthy creation.