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'Charcuterwreaths': Meat your new favorite holiday food trend

We've seen plenty of variations on the charcuterie board this year, but this festive design might be the best so far.
Meat the holiday decoration of your dreams.
Meat the holiday decoration of your dreams.cheesebynumbers / Instagram

Charcuterie boards have surged in popularity this year — and they're no longer just basic trays of meat, cheese and other savory snacks. There are now sweet, hot cocoa-inspired spins on the board, single-serving, COVID-19–friendly "jarcuterie" and charcuterie chalets have given gingerbread houses a run for their money.

Social media users have put a festive holiday twist on the trend, creating "charcuterwreaths," where the usual ingredients of cured meats, cheeses, fruits and spreads are arranged in a wreath-like shape on a cutting board.

The trend, first spotted by Food and Wine, is frequently credited to Cynthia Baysinger of Modern Brie, a small business in Gilbert, Arizona that produces custom charcuterie boards. Baysinger shared an image of her holiday-themed board on Nov. 14, noting that the holidays were her "favorite time of year."

Since then, Baysinger has shared tutorials on how to best arrange the boards, including tips on how to fashion cured meats into flowers and other shapes, an idea that many users have integrated into their boards.

A few of the most popular charcuterwreaths have incorporated real flowers, like poinsettias, for a pop of color.

Of course, the real beauty of a charcuterie board is how it can be customized to fit any tastes.

Some ambitious artisans added Christmas touches like candy canes and peppermint treats into their wreaths. A few have also added cookies or other sweet snacks.

One particularly colorful charcuterwreath featured snacks shaped like stars and snowflakes and a red and white Christmas bow.

Others have integrated herbs like rosemary into their board designs to add some extra color and texture, giving the appearance of pine needles — an extra wintry touch.

While most of the charcuterwreaths have involved an empty center, a few notable ones have covered an entire board with savory snacks. One board was centered around a large circle of baked brie surrounded by skewers of meat and cheese.

Another board placed a Christmas tree-shaped slab of brie at the center of the wreath.

Several users have recommended including seasonal sweets like dried or candied cranberries into their wreaths, and have incorporated fruits like blueberries and raspberries.

Other wreaths have switched the sweet flavors for salty ones, integrating pickles and chocolate-covered pretzels into the design.

Of course, the wreaths aren't the only holiday design that people have come up with. Some have shaped their charcuterie boards into Christmas trees or candy canes.