Stephanie Buckley Dec 11, '23
The Ultimate Charcuterie Board is what appetizer dreams are made of! From salty, delicious meats to creamy or funky cheeses, sweet fruits, nuts and olives, and of course the crackers or bread you smear it all on. And do you know who the charcuterie boards best friends are? Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegars. Perfect for snacking, sipping your favorite drink and enjoying the company of those around you! This is the perfect holiday party idea. Now, let's build the board.
When assembling a charcuterie board, start by choosing two or three different meats. Any cured meats, such as pastrami, pancetta and pepperoni, can pair well with some of the sweeter options in your display.
These dark, savory meats are usually some of the larger items on the board, so make sure to arrange them first. Get creative with how you choose to display them!
Next, it’s time to tackle the cheese. Charcuterie boards are often called “cheese boards” because of how important the cheese is to the entire display. With so many soft and hard cheeses to choose from, it can be difficult to select which ones will work best on your board.
Some popular cheese choices include brie, cheddar, gouda and burrata. Try matching your meat selections with cheeses that have complementary textures and flavors!
In terms of the board layout, you can choose to cube or slice the cheese. If you are only using one or two different types, you might choose to add a wedge of each rather than cutting them into smaller pieces.
FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Now you’re ready to incorporate some sweeter flavors with fresh fruits and vegetables. Any berries or grapes pair well with most cheeses, making them an essential component of your charcuterie board. As for vegetables, celery, carrots, peppers and cherry tomatoes can add some vibrant colors to your display. And for the love, don't forget the OLIVES!
When placing them on the board, try to keep the fruits closer to the cheese and the vegetables closer to where your spreads will be. This will make it easier for people to pair their favorites together, without having to reach across the board.
BREAD & CRACKERS
A charcuterie board is not complete without bread and crackers! They are a filling base for your meat, cheese and spreads to sit upon. Some popular bread options include baguette, pumpernickel and sourdough.
For crackers, it’s common to go with water crisps or club crackers. Spread out your bread and cracker selections across the board. Place some next to the cheese, more next to the meats and spreads.
This part can be very daunting. But just remember, you cannot mess this up. I repeat, you cannot mess this up. There is no right or wrong way. This is your time to get creative and do whatever you want.
The daunting part: sometimes you don’t even know what you want or how to be creative! I get it. I’ve been there. Where do you start? First with your larger items. Place your bowls with olives, spreads, etc on your platter and put them on opposite ends. Then your breads and crackers – I like to lay them out in a row so they are easy to grab – and of course, pre-slice your baguette. Next, add your cheese and meat. And lastly, use your fruits and nuts as fillers.