How to Create the Perfect Charcuterie Board
Based on our Instagram feed, it’s officially charcuterie season! The beautifully-presented boards are ubiquitous around the holiday time because they’re great for entertaining and can be scaled for large or small gatherings. Not to mention, charcuterie boards are easy to put together and look pretty darn impressive.
What’s Charcuterie, Anyway?
Charcuterie is a French term referring to an assortment of cooked or cured cold meats, primarily pork. Generally, it includes cheese, cured meats, crackers or bread, fruit or vegetables, and varying accompaniments arranged on a board for easy pairing and munching. The best boards have a large variety of textures, flavors, and layers.
If you’re wondering how you can create the perfect charcuterie board, keep on reading for our seven tips!
7 Tips for Creating a Perfect Charcuterie Board
Have a good variety.
Depending on the number of people, it’s good to have three to seven cheeses and three to seven types of meat. Make sure your cheeses are a range of hard to soft and mild to bold flavors. Creating a board with lots of contrasting flavors and textures will make it more interesting.
Add jams or preserves.
Sometimes the perfect accompaniment is a little sweetness! Sharper cheeses are brought out by a small dollop of fig jam or strawberry preserves. Pepper jellies are great too for some added spice.
Provide a few types of crackers with subtle flavors. Water crackers or wheat crackers flavored with herbs or pepper are great additions (and are the perfect vehicle to get all the paired goodness to your mouth!). You can also try grilled slices of baguette!
Fresh or dried fruit and veggies.
Like the jams and preserves, fresh and dried fruit add some sweetness, but also texture and interest to your board. You can also do sweeter vegetables like strips of bell pepper or carrot sticks. Make sure that whatever you add is easy to grab and eat, such as small fruits like blueberries, grapes, or dried apricots. Crunchy vegetables like radishes are excellent too.
All the spreads.
Hummus, tapenades, grainy mustards, and other spreads can add layers of flavor while helping your meat and cheese stick to your cracker. Just make sure you put a small spoon in each!
If it's easy to eat, don't hesitate to try it on your board. Nuts, mini pickles, other pickled vegetables, olives, chocolate, honey...the options are endless!
Assembling your board.
Grab small bowls for your dips and spreads, and then arrange everything else in small piles around the bowls. Place different textured items next to each other to create visual interest. Roll meats into tubes, or fold in half and fan out. Break cheese into crumbles or slice (unless it's a soft cheese, then provide a cheese knife or spoon) for easy grabbing.