High Country: Holiday platter pro tips from ‘I’m high and this is charcuterie’
The least triggering corner of Facebook lives in the private group “I’m high and this is charcuterie.”
A favorite of my digital discoveries in quarantine, the page was originally created on Feb. 15, 2020 with a pure purpose: “For when you’re high and you make charcuterie, or anything that vaguely resembles charcuterie. Also it’s ok if you don’t smoke or whatever, this is just a chill space for food and friendship.”
Founder Sophie Lennon — an early 20-something based in Plymouth, Mass. — could have never predicted that the pandemic would turn it into a phenomenon. Over the past nine months, “I’m high and this is charcuterie” has amassed close to 45,000 members. Charcuterie-board businesses are also seeing a sudden boom across the country, too, with Instagram-friendly, pre-made grazing boxes offering a convenient meal- making alternative.
“I’m in awe at how large the group has gotten in just a few months, and every day, I read comments that make my day,” Lennon shared with me via Messenger. “I’ve heard from parents of young kids who have found boards an amazing way to learn what foods they do and don’t like; people with depression who hate cooking; people in recovery from eating disorders or other health issues who find just having a few snacks on a plate way easier than making a meal. And then of course, there’s the full-on charcuterie artists and creative stoners taking it to new levels.”
According to Merriam-Webster, the first known usage of the French- derived term “charcuterie” was
in 1858, which is defined as “a delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes; also: the products sold in such a shop.”
Charcuterie has, of course, evolved to encompass cheese, nuts, fruit, vegetables, crackers, olives, dips and anything else your palette pleases, making the traditional snack platter the ultimate form of munchies for cannabis enthusiasts.
There are ground rules for the group, ranging from requiring members to “be kind and courteous,” prohibiting drugs “other than weed” and encouraging “off-topic Thursdays,” when posts unrelated to being high and/or charcuterie, are welcome. As the group continues to grow, Lennon has enlisted support from three super fans-turned-admins (shout out to Jack Holtzman, Emily Lennon and Tara Wasserman) to help approve posts and “keep things safe and happy.”
“I made it clear from the beginning that it’s absolutely not just for stoners. And we don’t gatekeep or food shame because my main ideal in all of this is for the group to be an inviting place for anyone to share and learn about food,” added Lennon. “It has weirdly become about so much more than the food though, and I’m so glad. I think the pandemic has been super hard for everyone, no matter what their financial status or ability level. ‘I’m high and this is charcuterie’ is where people can come to stay sane and express themselves — honestly (I) feel like a proud mom.”
As we plan for a holiday season unlike any before (hopefully, yours will be sans guests at home), “I’m high and this is charcuterie” provides endless entertainment and creative inspiration (think breakfast boards, Bloody Mary bars and “seacuterie” spreads) to attempt making a spread of your own.
Here are five pro-tips from this meat- and cheese-loving community, which graciously granted High Country reprint permission. For even more “shark coochie” (IYKYI) ideas, type “I’m high and this is charcuterie” into the Facebook search bar (look for the Olive Garden-esque cover photo, which hilariously reads “When you’re here, it’s charcuterie” and request to “Join Group.”
1. Build your base with a trio of cheeses (triple creme, chèvre or a bleu and a hard aged like manchego or gouda) paired with a trio of meats (classic dry salami, spicy salami and prosciutto).
2. Balance your board between sweet and savory snacks with plenty of different textures (crunch is key!).
3. Buy fewer supplies than you think you’ll need (estimate three ounces of cheese and meat each per person).
4. Treat yourself to a new, charcuterie-only cutting board or decorative serving platter and knives to enhance the presentation.
5. Always make your charcuterie before you get high … otherwise your board might be bare by the time it’s done and you won’t get a good picture to share.
Order a pre-made platter or DIY from one of these Roaring Fork Valley grocers and restaurants:
THE BUTCHER’S BLOCK
424 S. Spring St., Aspen
305 Airport Business Center, Aspen
MEAT & CHEESE FARM SHOP
319 E. Hopkins Ave., Aspen
MURRAY’S CHEESE SHOP @ CITY MARKET
711 E. Cooper Ave., Aspen
250 E. Valley Rd., El Jebel
WHOLE FOODS MARKET
340 Reed St., Willits
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Longtime Aspenite Mark Howard’s new memoir, “A Rewiring Life,” chronicles a life of change across five decades in Aspen.