A meaty, savory alternative to the dessert house is here, and you can totally build a Charcuterie Chalet right at home
Christmas almost feels incomplete without a gingerbread house. The whole process of getting to build one and then decorating it with delicious icing, candies, and anything else that will make it look like the house Hansel and Gretel wanted to eat. The origin of the gingerbread house does go back to the Grimms’ original fairy tale. Even though it does not have much of a Christmassy origin it has come to become a beloved Christmas tradition. As much as it is a treat for people with a sweet tooth, there was not an equivalent edible house for those who did not. This year, however, things are about to change.
People are now giving gingerbread houses some serious competition with "charcuterie chalets." A meaty alternative to the dessert house. Charcuterie is an array of cold cut meats and cheeses and a chalet is a small cottage. So a charcuterie chalet is a small cottage made up of meats. If it looks impossible to make, fret not. Taste of Home assures that "it’s totally doable at home." You will be using savory construction ingredients for building the chalet with different types of meats, sausage, various types of cheese, and various types of crackers.
If anything, charcuterie chalets are as versatile as gingerbread houses and the only limitation comes from your imagination. No two chalets will look the same if you choose the meat of your choice. Some walls are made from ham and the tiles on the roof are made from slices of salami, while others have used prosciutto to create a thatched look on your roof. Melted cheese is used as a binder to hold the structure in place. You can even use dried-beef sticks as logs for the chalet and even add cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices to make a vegetable garden in front of the house.
You can use breadsticks for beams and even make a walkway with minced-meat and graveled with bacon bits. Why not go ahead and make mozzarella snowmen as well. Let your imagination run wild. You can make your chalet as big or small as you prefer. The Cut urges people to "not let any of the practical concerns distract you from the sensory experience. Close your eyes and inhale deeply — imagine breathing in the scent of a warm charcuterie chalet, its bits freshly mashed into place by greasy human hands." This Christmas, things are not only going to be different on the celebration front but also in the details.
The Food Network has a simple and easy to follow crudite-charcuterie house recipe. With an array of ingredients that include veggies as well as meats and cheeses, it could be a great place to start if you are unsure how to go about the savory house. In this recipe you can have yourself some Parmesan snow for the White Christmas we all desire along with a delicious, mouth-watering, edible house. You can build the entire house on a cheese board that also makes it easy to display and serve. If you are feeling very ambitious, you can offer your family, both a gingerbread house as well as the new charcuterie chalet to choose from. Either way, they will be wiped out clean.