What's Your Favorite Meat To Feature On A Charcuterie Board? - Exclusive Survey

Charcuterie boards have a long history. The decadent plate dates back to 15th century Europe, where they were once used as a way to preserve and use up leftovers before they had a chance to spoil, according to State & Allen. Today, charcuterie boards represent an opportunity to share delicious food like various types of meats, cheeses, and such accouterments as nuts, crackers, and fruits, per MasterClass

While we've already told you the best meats and cheeses for your own charcuterie board, ultimately, we understand that context matters, as does personal preference. So, we created a survey, first narrowing down the charcuterie board universe to six types of meat that often come up as favorites — calabrese, chorizo, mortadella, pepperoni, prosciutto, and soppressata. Then we asked the presumably tough question: If you had to pick one, which would be your favorite? More than 600 of our readers answered and there was a clear winner and loser. 

Pepperoni is the hands-down favorite

Out of hundreds of respondents to an exclusive Tasting Table survey, nearly 47% said their favorite meat to feature on a charcuterie board is none other than classic pepperoni. Not surprisingly, the popular snack food prosciutto came in second place with 30%. After that, nothing even came close. Chorizo took third place with nearly 9%, while soppressata only received roughly 6% of the vote. Calabrese didn't fare much better, coming in at 5%, and finally, mortadella came in last place at just 3%. 

So, what is it about pepperoni and prosciutto that, together, earn them more than 75% of our Tasting Table exclusive survey love? At the moment, we can only guess, but with regard to prosciutto, in particular, one thing that comes to mind is that this Italian ham has nine different varieties. So, perhaps it's as simple as there are lots of ways to enjoy prosciutto. As for pepperoni, well, we're talking about America's favorite pizza topping going back at least a decade, according to The New York Times. Some also attribute pepperoni's popularity to it being a less-expensive alternative to soppressata, per Siroh & Ivy. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear, putting pepperoni on your next charcuterie board will be an instant crowd-pleaser.