Why Eat Charcuterie at Room Temperature?

Charcuterie, like cheese, is best served at room temperature. If the meats have been stored in the refrigerator, they should be allowed to sit and warm up before serving. But why?

Some Charcuterie, such as the sausages, salami’s, chorizos etc, have a high fat content and this contributes to the distinct flavour, texture and aroma of each variety. When cold, cured meat can taste bland and the texture changes from the desired and becomes more solid. When warmed, the fat is creamy and unctuous and coats the tongue with flavour.

Research shows that the most palatable foods are those that are both energy dense and high in fat content. As fat warms, it becomes more viscous and less solid and it is thought that this enables the flavour compounds to be more readily released into the saliva and react with the taste buds.

A study published in Nature Journal identified microscopic channels (TRPM5) in our taste buds as being responsible for different taste perception at different temperatures.

Therefore, when Charcuterie is served at room temperature, the fat is soft and creamy, the flavours of the meat, herbs and spices are able to be released into the saliva and react with the taste buds which, via the TRPM5 channels, creates an enhanced taste.

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With credit to Caroline Mitchell ( meat scientist ) for this research.