Pronounced shahr-cute-uh-ree, it is actually a French word for smoked, dry-cured or cooked meats. And it has come to be a very fancy word for something that I grew up calling the humble cheese board. When I was a kid, a fancy cheese board that Mum would make at home generally had a wheel of supermarket brie on it, accompanied by fancy store bought crackers. And some pickled onions if we had some in the pantry. We have certainly come a long way since then!
Having worked on yachts for the past four years here in Croatia, I have come to a much more flexible understanding of this kind of eating, and have found a very happy medium between the lofty charcuterie platter and the good old cheese board. Food here in Croatia is wonderfully unpretentious for the most part and this is very much reflected in how they serve and eat their cured meats and cheeses. Namely sliced on a platter, often drizzled generously in local olive oil and served with bread. Easy, unfussy and very satisfying! This approach also goes for freshly grilled sardines, and many other finger foods that Croatians are traditionally fond of.