Though the pandemic proved to be an ideal time for charcuterie boards to rise in stock, they’ve actually been gaining popularity the past few years, said Duncan Forbes, who runs North Country Charcuterie on the Northwest Side with his mother and older brother.

More restaurants have them on their menus, he said, and social media has been full of posts from people, celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Chrissy Teigen included, showing off their boards.

North Country, which began in 2014, produces specialty cured meats (actual charcuterie), but has gotten into creating boards now, too.

In 2017 and 2018, North Country held classes, which always sold out, on how to pair meats and cheeses and build a beautiful board. During the holidays last year, the business began selling charcuterie kits that, after a bit of slicing, allow people to put together small boards themselves.

Those kits have “sold like crazy” during the pandemic, Forbes said.

“I think people like the community aspect of it,” Forbes said. “It’s one platter everyone can hover around … and share in that food experience.”

Plus, he said the boards can serve as a creative outlet.

“It’s not just salami,” he continued. “You can have pickled vegetables or plain vegetables, multiple types of cheeses. If you’re having a party, it becomes appealing to everyone. The more items on a charcuterie board the more it appeals to more people.”