Forget the Gingerbread House, Here’s How to Make a Meaty Charcuterie Chalet
Orange County Register
Welcome to the world of charcuterie chalets. Images of these charming houses are trending on Instagram as more families are ditching the cookies and sweets to build a Candyland for carnivores with meats, cheeses, veggies, crackers and pretzel logs.
We turned to Evan Inada, whose friends and coworkers know him as “The Salami Guy.” He’s charcuterie/partnerships director for Columbus Craft Meats, a 103-year old company founded by Italian immigrants in San Francisco that is now owned by Hormel Foods and based in Hayward.
Inada didn’t start this meat hut trend — neither did Lady Gaga — but he definitely jumped in with both feet.
“I won’t take credit for it because I must’ve gotten about 60 emails from random strangers, coworkers, and all my family and friends, showing me charcuterie chalets on Instagram and saying, ‘Hey, where’s yours? Like, when are you guys going to do something cool?’” he said.
He accepted the challenge and set to work building a whole village with three salumi, cheese and cracker houses; three cheese-cherry tomato-olive Christmas trees; a prosciutto wood shed; bocconcini snowmen and a red bell pepper and cheese sled.
So who’s doing this we wanted to know?
“All ages, but I think (many are) the milennials and the generations that are really tied to the social media,” he said. “I think this is a perfect outlet for them because they are at home and away from their friends and they want to have something they can maybe do online together through a Zoom.”
He envisions them snapping pictures to post on social media.
“Almost like a challenge or a competition on who could build the best one. So I think it’s really kind of showing off your creativity and your food stylist skills,” he said.
Inada’s creation looked so over-the-top, nerd-level cool that we had to find out how to build our own. He walked us through the instructions which can be found on the Hormel website. We’ve broken it down for you into three steps plus an easy Plan B if you’re just not that ambitious.