Is there a more perfect way to end a day than with a charcuterie board and a glass of wine? The choices for your meat and cheese board are endless and can be overwhelming when you don't know where to start. Here's how to make a charcuterie board for your next date night or soiree.
What is a charcuterie board?
Quick break to cover the basics: a charcuterie board is so much more than a meat and cheese plate. It's a delightful blend of meats, cheeses, breads, and sweet & savory additions.
If you’re wondering how to pronounce charcuterie board, I’ve got you. Say it with me, "Shahr-ku-tuh-ree” board. Charcuterie board. It's a French word, so feel free to wear a beret when pronouncing it.
Now that we’ve learned how to say charcuterie board, let's dive into how to build a charcuterie board.
What to put on a charcuterie board
When determining what to put on a charcuterie board, start by planning a realistic spread for the number of people who will be enjoying your board. If it's a date night board, pick just one or two meats and cheeses and a few things to fill in the gaps.
When looking for ideas for a charcuterie board, start by evaluating your pantry and seeing what you already have. Nuts, dried fruit, and specialty sauces are a great place to start. Build from there.
Meat for a charcuterie board
The definition of charcuterie is "cold meats, collectively." So the star of our charcuterie board is the selection of meats. Take a trip to your local deli or specialty grocers and ask for recommendations, or pick out your own assortment.
When choosing meats for a charcuterie board, you can choose a theme such as "sausages" and try German sausage, Polish sausage, Italian sausage, Mexican sausage etc.
Alternatively, you can choose a wide variety of meats. Be sure to include favorites like pepperoni for the less adventurous eaters as well as more sophisticated choices such as pancetta and sopressata.
Cheese for a charcuterie board
Variety is the spice of life and also the key to the best cheese board cheeses. You want a well-rounded assortment when choosing what to put on a cheese board.
Choose a couple of hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, Asiago, aged Gouda.
Also choose softer cheeses, such as the Italian blue cheese Gorgonzola, brie, or chevre (goat cheese).
Bread and crackers
Choose two or three breads and crackers for your charcuterie board depending on how many people you will be serving.
While buttery crackers such as Ritz and Clubhouse are delicious on their own, you want to choose a heartier cracker to stand up to the strong flavors of your charcuterie board.
A French baguette is a classic choice, and you can even choose to pre-slice and toast it to create crostini.
Italian Grissini is another classic choice that you can make or buy. Grissini is a super thin and long breadstick, often with fresh herbs. They add a fun level of texture and height to your charcuterie board.
Sweet and savory accouterments
How to build a charcuterie board
Start by picking an appropriately sized board for the party you are feeding. If it's a cheese board for two that you're building, you could get away with a dinner plate or a paddle board. If it's a grazing board for a Super Bowl Party, you'll want a larger board.
Next up, add your largest and most structured items. Large wedges of cheese, little bowls of pickles, or a honey pot go next.
Fold your sliced meat into little ribbons and tuck in.
Line up rows of crackers. You could also leave the crackers or bread slices on the side in a cracker basket.
Fill in with nuts, fruit and other tidbits.
Garnish with rosemary.
Where to buy a charcuterie board
If you're looking for a live edge charcuterie board for sale, I recommend this Rustic Olive Wood Serving Board. It's a great option if you're looking for a large wooden cheese board. For more charcuterie boards for sale, check out these.
Download a free checklist for your charcuterie board shopping list.