Crafting a charcuterie board is a form of creative, edible art. There is really no wrong way to style your board, so get ready to have fun and experiment.
Just like anything else, practice is key. Each board you style can look and taste different, and as you experiment with the products on your board and with the design, you’ll grow more confident with expressing your own, unique style.
Now don’t worry, as long as you’re serving quality ingredients, your guests will be satisfied from that first glance to the first bite. So pull out those creative pants, maybe an apron and chef’s hat if you’re feeling fancy, and get those fingers ready for some magic.
Your Display Board Is The Foundation
Consider your display board your canvas. Charcuterie is most often presented on a wooden serving board which gives the display a cozy, rustic appearance. At Siroh & Ivy, we specialize in creating handcrafted, custom-styled serving boards. If you’re looking for your first wood board, or looking to add another to your collection, make sure to shop our original serving boards!
If you’re not ready to invest in a wood board just yet, don’t worry. Just about any attractive board or platter you have available will work. And if you have the space to display them, you can use several.
Build Around the Sauce & Dip Bowls
It may not seem conventional to start with the condiments, but we promise there’s a good reason to do this that’s going to save you some time and some rearranging headaches later.
Once you decide which sauces and dips you’d like to offer with your meat and cheese selections, you’ll want to put them in small bowls or ramekins. Then place them on your board and you’ll be able to easily build and style your meats and cheeses around them instead of trying to squish them in later.
Some common examples you’ll find displayed are honey, jam, jelly, mustard, or hummus.
Let’s Cut To The Meat Of It
Now it’s time to decide on a few cooked meats or cold cuts that sound appealing to you.
Grocery stores have jumped on the charcuterie bandwagon, so you can usually find a variety of some prepackaged meats sliced and ready for your board already. If you’d rather choose your own, do a bit of research on popular meats to see what stands out to you and then choose a few to start with.
Some commonly displayed meats are Soppressata (a dry Italian salami), Calabrese (a spicy salami), Mortadella (a sausage studded with pork fat and pistachio pieces), Prosciutto (a dry-cured Italian ham), and Genoa Salami (ground pork or veal mixed with white wine, garlic, salt, and whole white peppercorns).
Now wipe that drool up off of your counter before it makes its way onto your platter. That’s one ingredient we definitely don’t want to include.
Whether you choose to include a triangular block of cheese with a cheese knife, or opt for cheese cubes or slices, just make sure you offer a few different flavors and textures in your presentation. Any combination of aged, firm, soft, crumbly, or creamy cheeses should suffice. You can also include a variety of types of milk, which all offer unique flavors and textures as well. Some examples are cow, goat, and sheep’s milk cheese.
Don’t feel like you need to go too crazy here. Include at least one type of cheese that people are familiar with and then add a couple of others for fun.
Many people will include Aged Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Chèvre on their charcuterie boards, but you can explore cheese.com to learn more about all different types of cheese from around the world.
Pack In The Produce
Everybody likes snacking on the extras--and your vegetarian guests will especially appreciate this gesture. But it’s an aesthetic, too. The beauty of the produce you include (wherever you can) will make your board pop even more.
Slip in some grapes, olives, pickles, figs,strawberries, tomatoes, nuts, or raspberries and watch as the colors draw your guests in.
Don’t Quash The Crunch
Don’t underestimate the power of a little crunch from a cracker or toast or the nice soft fluff of a piece of artisan bread. Crackers and pita chips can be found in many different flavors, and they can also be used to layer meats and cheeses. The different tastes and textures that you include here will only contribute to your already bountiful board.
Garnish Your Display
Utilize fresh greenery like rosemary sprigs or olive branches in your display as a bonus stunner, and voila! Your charcuterie board is now complete.
Let's Wrap This Up
Now that you know the main components of a successful charcuterie board, tell us—what one meat, cheese, and accompaniment are you going to include on your next board? Leave your comment below. 👇
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