In case you missed the memo, the hottest dining trend in West Michigan is charcuterie boards. Yes, the generation that was raised on Lunchables has refined their tastes and have upgraded from processed turkey and American cheese, to genoa salami and brie bites.

What is Charcuterie?

It's no surprise that this amazing delicacy was gifted to the world by France. Quite literally the term charcuterie comes from the French word "chairmeaning 'flesh', + "cuit" which means 'cooked'. Put the two together and you've got "cooked meats", a term used to describe the local French shops that sold products made from pork- thanks France!

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A favorite amongst Millennials, or anyone who loves to snack for that matter, charcuterie is the perfect food to munch on whilst enjoying a bottle of wine with friends. The best part is that each charcuterie board is unique and can be tailored to your specific tastes! Any combination of meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits, fruit spreads, nuts, olives, and chocolates qualifies as charcuterie. You can play around with any and all combinations to your heart's content! Now that your mouth is watering, here are 3 local spots where you can snack here in the Kalamazoo area:

The Grazing Table- 402 S. Burdick St

The newest snacking spot in Kzoo, owners Joey and Jenna Gamrat have turned their pandemic-induced hobby into a full-time passion. Located at the site of the former Tibbs Brewing Co. downtown, The Grazing Table has offerings for every palate. Open Tuesday through Saturday, you can dine-in and enjoy a board with your friends, swing by and snag a convenient grab-n-go box, or they'll even cater your big event! The Grazing Table also hosts special workshops, like wine and cheese pairings and build-your-own-board events.

Rustica- 236 S. Kalamazoo Mall

Also located in downtown Kalamazoo, Rustica specializes in rustic European cuisine. Offering local meats, artisan cheese, and extensive beverage selection to compliment their food. Enjoy an entire meal at Rustica or simply snack and sip! It changes from season to season, but Rustica's charcuterie boards may include house jam, local honey, grilled bread, and other delectable condiments. Like many local restaurants they have struggled throughout the pandemic and encourage reservations, Rustica is open Tuesday-Sunday starting at 5:00 p.m.

WL Social House- 161 E. Michigan

This social house goes above and beyond charcuterie, offering small'ish plates and a full dinner and dessert menu. Even better, WL Social House has amazing daily specials like Ladies Night, Flight Night, and deals on snack-sized charcuterie boards every Wednesday. You better come thirsty to WL Social House as their signature cocktail list is out of this world! They even offer several 'mocktails' for those who want to savor the atmosphere, but abstain from alcohol.

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