How a picture of a charcuterie board sparked a furious debate about class and food

Iana Murray
Monday 10 August 2020 14:15
news
(Twitter)

How do you feel about charcuterie boards?

Are they a bougie snack for the wealthy elite, or can anyone enjoy the delights of cured meats and fancy cheeses?

The subject has been hotly debated this week after a Twitter user cheesybeaver posted a photo of her charcuterie lunch. Another user quoted the tweet with the caption: “What rich people eat I guess.”

In defence, she then wrote a Twitter thread about her working class upbringing, and claimed that her lunch was a meal for two for $20. She also argued that the idea that charcuterie boards are only accessible for the rich enforces the belief that “only wealthy people deserve nice things.”

The thread sparked a fierce debate over classism in food. Instead of labelling everyone who eats charcuterie boards as class traitors, many argue that curing meats is a practice that historically belonged to the working class to prolong the shelf life. The associations between charcuterie boards and wealth have only emerged after rich people re-appropriated it for themselves. It's hardly the first time that certain dishes have been reclaimed by the rich. Everything from baking your own bread to pickles are seen in a new light as "bougie foods" when they were first consumed by the working class.

Many came to the defence of charcuterie boards, arguing that it's not very difficult to find some cheese and crackers at an affordable price if you just go to an Aldi.

Naturally, the discourse also quickly became a meme.

In the end, we’re all looking way too deep into what is just a plate of food arranged to look pretty.

If there is a lesson in all of this, it's that people will get criticised for posting absolutely anything. Even cheese.

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