Attention cheese lovers: National Cheese Day is here! And what’s the best way to celebrate? Well, in our humble opinion, enjoying a charcuterie board is a must. Want to make your own but not sure where to start? Below we’ve outlined how to make a charcuterie board that is sure to impress all your friends and family. Whether you’re entertaining in your apartment, planning a date night, or going for a picnic in the park, a charcuterie board is always a crowd pleaser.
How To Make A Charcuterie Board
Select Your Platter
There is almost no wrong choice when it comes to a charcuterie platter so long as it’s sturdy, but a large wooden board is traditionally preferred. Presentation is a huge part of charcuterie boards — especially in the age of Instagram — so select something that looks nice and can hold the right amount of food. Be sure to consider how many people you’re feeding when selecting your perfect platter; you want your snacks to fill the space of the board for the best presentation.
The key to the perfect charcuterie board is to showcase a range of hardness with your cheese selections. Add a combination of soft cheeses like brie, mozzarella, and chèvre, and hard cheeses like cheddar, gouda, and Manchego. Round it out with an exotic or pungent option such as savarin or gorgonzola.
Choose A Variety Of Cured Meats
We recommend selecting a similar number of meats and cheeses to create the foundation for your board. Include a variety of colors, textures, and spice levels among your cured meats to add flavor and visual interest. Prosciutto, salami, chorizo, and pancetta are staples for a reason!
Load Up The Extras
Once the cheeses and meats are laid around the board, add color with some accoutrements that also pack a flavorful punch. Now is the time for antipasti like olives, cornichons, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, and picked onions. These savory additions are fun to bundle with the meats and cheeses, but also make great small bites on their own.
Break Out The Spreads
Bleu and apricot. Brie and fig. Cheddar and tomato. There is an endless combination of cheese and jam pairings that will take your charcuterie board to the next level. Contain jams in their own individual ramekins or pile them directly onto your platter. Honey, pesto, and dips are great additions as well. Select two or three depending on the size of your board.
Finish With Fruits And Nuts
Lastly, add some fruit like figs, grapes, apricots, and berries to add a touch of sweet to your savory platter. Fresh or dried fruits are equally exciting additions — or add a combination of both. Nuts add crunch and are the perfect finishing touch to fill in any areas where your presentation needs a little something extra.
…And A Side Of Bread
Whether you add it directly to your board, or have it available in a neighboring dish, don’t forget the bread. Crostinis, baguettes, and crackers are all sturdy options meant for piling on.
Enjoy The Fruits Of Your Labor
The best part about creating a charcuterie board is that it’s entirely customizable to your preferences. Vegetarian? Focus on cheese, fruits and veggies. Don’t like cornichons? Leave them off. Love a theme? Try using only Spanish flavors. Once you’ve crafted your masterpiece, all that’s left to do next is serve! For the best results, pair your board with a glass of wine and great company.