Pretending to be classy: A charcuterie board is the key

Charcuterie
Carlos Lopes/Creative Commons

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You’re having your friends over and you have a misguided bourgeoisie complex despite being on a tight college budget. It is common sense that as the host you need to feed your guests, but with limited finances in your pocket, you are not sure how you can present yourself as the classy person you wish to be. What do you serve that fools your guests into thinking you belong to a higher echelon of society than they do while hiding the fact that you purposely pick out fruit that’s slightly moldy at the grocery store just so you can haggle the price down? Don’t worry. Here are some tips to help you make it seem like you’re the picture of class.

Use the word “charcuterie”

I have a tenuous grasp on what constitutes “charcuterie,” but I know the word intimidates the heck out of me because it sounds super classy. If someone invites me somewhere and drops that word, my first thought is “Whoops, you have mistaken me for someone else.” The easiest and quickest way to pretend you have money in your negative bank account when inviting your friends over goes something like this: “You should come! I’m going to have a whole charcuterie board!” Now you’re classy, and they’re jealous. Bam. For those who are unfamiliar with elitist vocabulary, charcuterie is a fancy way of saying cold, cooked meats. A charcuterie board usually has meats, cheese, bread and occasionally fruits on it.

It’s all about the vehicle food

If you’re going to spend money on anything, it better be on the crostini or crackers that get that government cheese and 50% off bologna meat into their mouths. I recommend those artisanal croutons that are way too large for anyone to actually throw on a salad. Pretend you really spent all afternoon seasoning and baking bread you made from scratch for your charcuterie board. Side note: Drop the word “artisanal” when you can. When your guests are eating that plastic cheese on your crostini, mention that it is artisanal cheese and that it’s super rare. By artisanal, we really mean it is an art form to cut off all the moldy edges from the slices and still have them appear uniform.

The actual charcuterie board

Nobody has time or money to go to Sur La Table. Go on Craigslist or to the dollar store and get something super odd that could pass for a serving platter for your charcuterie. Say it’s hip, cool, designer. Wood is the usual choice, but I would be excited to see some off-the-wall ideas. The key here is confidence. When you are serving food on a repurposed Frisbee disc your neighbor’s punk kid was selling for 50 cents at a yard sale last Tuesday, you stare your skeptical friends right in the eyes and say, “Wow, you guys really don’t know about this designer? His stuff is really taking off in Milan, you guys need to get with it.”

“Two-Buck Chuck” (if you’re of age)

Now, I know many of you have had experience with this. I promise you nobody will know — unless you have a certified sommelier among you — if you serve $1.99 wine from Trader Joe’s. The wine will also make the little ham slices you grabbed out of a Lunchables kit you picked up at the store earlier taste much better. Boxed wine is another option — all it takes is some repackaging. See if you can find some ironic containers for the wine, such as cheap antique milk jugs from a thrift store, and pretend your cousin made his own wine during his latest visit to Montreal and sent it to you. Save these bottles. You have gotten so fake to the point where your cousin now sends them regularly because he got married to the French ambassador of Montreal’s daughter, runs his own vineyard and invites you to relax there frequently. You’re in too deep with the BS now, might as well run with it.

Deny, deny, deny

Don’t let anybody question you in your own house at your own “event.” Yes, use the word “event.” No, it is not Two-Buck Chuck. No, it is not Lunchables meat. No, I did not splice wires to hijack my neighbor’s cable. No, you did not see these candles and decorations at the dollar store. As long as you make sure to clean up beforehand so none of your guests find a receipt that proves your “grandma’s recipe” for salsa was really out of a fermented plastic package of who knows what from Taco Bell, you’re good. Never leave a paper trail, and they can’t prove anything.

I hope this list helps you appear classy to your friends while being on a tight college budget. Truthfully though, we at the Clog hope you can relax, throw a small party or have a gathering within your means (and with proper social distancing practices). Your real friends won’t care that their “chicken parmesan recipe Gordon Ramsay taught me in France” is really McDonald’s chicken nuggets smothered with an unidentifiable white substance you stole out of your mother’s refrigerator.

This is a satirical article written purely for entertainment purposes.

Contact Morgan Saltz at [email protected].