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Forget gingerbread houses, the new trend is charcuterie chalets and meat mansions


The trend has seen salami-shingled roofs, whipped goat cheese lawns, slivered almond walkways, pretzel windows, rosemary sprig trees, mozzarella snowmen and more

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A growing trend puts a twist on the Christmas tradition of building and decorating a gingerbread house.

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Instead of gingerbread cookies, icing and candy, it’s a savoury house of crackers, cheese, thinly sliced meats and fresh veggies.

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These charcuterie chalets — or meat mansions — have become more popular since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Charcuterie chalets aren’t totally new,” says an article posted to Martha Stewart’s website last year. “But we are starting to see more of them as we get closer to Christmas — perhaps because people are still spending a lot of time at home and looking for new holiday traditions to start this year.”

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This trend could fill a savoury gap in the holiday season, since a lot of traditional holiday foods are sweet.

One site, Our Community Now , calls the chalet trend “the perfect hipster appetizers to please a crowd.”

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The process of building the charcuterie chalet starts off very similar to that of the gingerbread house. For the latter, the walls and roof are made of a solid piece of gingerbread cookie. Chalet builders have a few options, use crackers anchored in place with soft cheese, build more of a log cabin by stacking breadsticks in a rotating pattern, use a piece of bread as a wall, or stack cubes of cheese like bricks. Some go a step further and line the walls with meat.

Once the base is built, you can cut veggies into fun shapes, slice a strawberry into the shape of a bush — whatever makes your charcuterie heart happy.

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The trend has seen salami-shingled roofs, whipped goat cheese lawns with slivered almond walkways, pretzel windows, rosemary sprig trees, mozzarella snowmen and more.

Comments on photos posted to social media range from disgust or absolute shock, as some users are being introduced to this trend for the first time, to wanting to know tips and tricks to make their own attempts successful. One Instagram user wrote, “OMG, this is way better than a gingerbread house,” with another saying, “Wow! Charcuterie level up!”

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Others described the trend as a holiday activity they can get excited about, or said that building a chalet was going to become a new holiday tradition for their family.

As with all trends, there are those that don’t appreciate this savoury holiday creation, citing a lack of festivity, high cost and refrigeration concerns.

Last year, Insider called it “the bougie version of a holiday classic that nobody needs.”

A Twitter user said it’s time for the trend to “knock it off.”

“I love cheese. That is a fact,” the user wrote . “But I certainly do not need someone’s fingers all up on it smushing it into stucco for a chalet, with a pretzel window pressed into the side and a layer of parmesan frost. Let the cheese be and speak for itself!”

https://twitter.com/literElly/status/1339698776064339968/photo/1

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