How to Build the Perfect Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie & Cheese Please!

How to make the perfect charcuterie and cheese board

The charcuterie board, simply an art form of its own. What began in 15th century France as the preservation and curing of meats, has now taken on a life of its own, and become an entertaining staple that is filled with flavor, texture, color and personality! Throughout the years, charcuterie boards have become increasingly intricate and aesthetically pleasing. Whatever ingredient lineup you select, the key element is to have an artfully arranged and attractive presentation. 

A combination of a variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, spreads, olives, fruits, nuts, and so much more, charcuterie boards have become a hosting dream and the opportunities are endless. Allow your creativity to run wild while building a charcuterie board! Below is my list of charcuterie staples, which you can use as a guide to creating a charcuterie board that is certain to wow your guests. The beauty of charcuterie boards is that there is no right or wrong way to make them… whether you prefer to stick with the basics or throw caution to the wind, creativity is the key ingredient in a fabulous charcuterie board! 

Perfect Charcuterie Board

The Utensils

Let’s begin with the non-food items that go into creating a charcuterie board. When it comes to the board itself, there are endless options. You will discover a variety of shapes, sizes, and  materials. A rule of thumb, I base the size of the board around how many people I plan to serve. I love using small jars, ramekins, unique vessels, cheese knives, spreaders, picks, and forks. I personally like to build my board using a variation of heights to create interest. 

Charcuterie and Cheese Board

Course Appetizer
Servings 12
Author Chef Tiffany Blackmon

Ingredients

  • A food-safe surface, such as marble, wood, stone, or glass.
  • Portion Recommendations to Keep in Mind: 2 oz. cheese per person & 1-2 oz. meat per person
  • 2-3 Soft Cheese Selections, brie, camembert, cambozola, burrata, bleu, fontina, goat, etc.
  • 2-3 Semi-Hard Cheese Selections gouda, white cheddar, manchego, gruyere, etc.
  • 1 Spreadable Cheese mini mozzarella cheese balls, boursin, cream cheese, etc.
  • 8 Oz. Dried and Cured Meats, dried salami, soppressata, felino, casalingo, etc.
  • 1 Lb. Red and green Seedless Grapes, on the vine
  • 2 Kiwi, washed, peeled, and sliced
  • 2 Perisimmons, washed and cut into slices
  • 8 Oz. Blueberries, washed and drained
  • 12 Oz. Strawberries, washed and drained, tops on
  • 8 Oz. Raspberries, washed and drained
  • 1, 8 Oz. Package Dark Sweet Cherries
  • ½ Lb. Baby Cucumbers, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 Lb. Sugar Snap Peas
  • 1, 8 Oz. Package of Baby Beets, cut into quarters
  • 2 Baguettes. slices
  • 1 Package Crackers
  • Pretzels, Sticks, knots, twists, or crisps (chocolate dipped pretzels are fabulous for a touch of sweetness)
  • Marcona Almonds, dried and salted
  • Seasoned Cashews
  • Additional Suggestions: Marmalade, fruit spreads, honey, other jams, olives, tiny pickles,  mustards, flavored crackers, assorted dried fruits

Instructions

  • Select a board or surface, small ramekins, appetizer forks, spreaders, spoons.
  • Clean the board or surfaces to be used and dry thoroughly.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry fruits and vegetables.
  • Unwrap any cheese and meats, bringing to room temperature.
  • Slice meat and cheeses.
  • Begin at the center of the board and arrange items on board. Group contrasting colors and shapes together to create more visual interest.
  • Replenish board as needed!

Tiffy’s Tips

~Create your charcuterie board, refrigerate. Allow it to come to room temperature approximately 30 minutes before serving for cheeses to come to room temperature, which makes for easier spreading and maximum flavor.  

~Select small bowls and ramekins, which are perfect for serving ingredients like pickles, olives, and spreads. These ingredients are better separated from other dry ingredients on the board. 

~Use a piece of parchment, wax paper or doilies to protect your board from grease found in meats or cheeses. 

Summer Cheese Board

Keep staying fabulous friends!

How to Make the Perfect Charcuterie Board

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