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'Jarcuterie' is the COVID-19–friendly food trend we all need this year

Jarcuterie includes all the delectability of a typical charcuterie board with an additional layer of cuteness from the perfect little portion sizes.
This trend is jarringly cute.
This trend is jarringly cute.GrazingKC/Instagram
/ Source: TODAY

Even if you're able to have a safe, in-person gathering during the coronavirus pandemic, it'll look quite different than the parties of yesteryear. Everyone should sport a mask and maintain social distance, of course, and you should avoid shared plates of food. Which means no traditional charcuterie boards or charcuterie chalets or hot cocoa "charcuterie" boards.

Luckily, creative home cooks and catering companies alike have figured out away around this dilemma. It's called "jarcuterie," which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: all the delicious trappings of a charcuterie board packed into a jar of some sort — usually Mason but sometimes wood or even paper cones. Really, the trend is just about creating an individual serving size, no matter how you present it.

There are almost 300 posts on Instagram that use the hashtag #jarcuterie, and each one is more creative than the last. The original trend was started by Noble Graze, a charcuterie and grazing board company in Arkansas, according to the company's Instagram page and founder Suzanne Billings.

"I came up with the jarcuterie concept as another single serve option during the pandemic, and it just took off like wildfire," Billings told TODAY Food. "It's been all over the U.S., Canada, England, Singapore, Egypt and more! Keeping individual charcuterie options innovative is what has kept my business growing during the pandemic."

Noble Graze first posted about jarcuterie in July, writing, "Single serve grazing is in high demand! This mason jar cutie works just fine!"

A few weeks later, Graze catering in Houston put its own spin on the idea, featuring multiple kinds of breadsticks and an adorable bow.

Rachelle Lucas, who runs food blog The Travel Bite, found jarcuterie to be a useful appetizer at her micro-Thanksgiving celebration.

Kansas City, Missouri-based company Grazing KC, which makes handcrafted grazing boards, included flowers for an extra pop of color in its approach.

Graze & Provisions in Tucson, Arizona, noted one of jarcuterie's best qualities when it posted about the trend in August: "Good things come in small packages!"

Jarcuterie doesn't have to be savory or stick to the traditional cheese board foods, either. Noble Graze recently shared a photo of its candy jarcuterie.

And it also dubbed the phrase "fiesta jarcuterie," complete with peppers, flautas and taquitos.

You can even do a mini version of the jarcuterie for maximum cuteness, as Pretty & Plated in Charlotte, North Carolina, discovered.

Of course, you can try a holiday spin, too, a la Cheese Garden in Cincinnati, Ohio.

No matter what event you're planning this season, even if it's just some solo snacking, jarcuterie is a deliciously adorable solution.