What’s more essential to a summer party than a charcuterie board? You tell me, because in my mind, anything that involves cheese and crackers will always be the star of the show. There are so many components to creating a tasty and memorable charcuterie board, but I’m here to help break it down for you.
First, What Is A Charcuterie Board?
In short, charcuterie is the practice or art of preparing different types of meats, to preserve it (be it smoked or cured). The most common types of charcuterie meats are bacon, ham, and salame.
How To Make A Charcuterie Board:
- Get your hands on a solid board. It can be a cutting board, a large cookie sheet, or a fancy board made for serving meats and cheeses. The only requirement is that it needs to be large enough to fit all the delicious items you’ll decorate it with.
- Crucial to any charcuterie board are a variety of pre-sliced cured meats. These will bring the savory, salty component to the platter. Proscuitto, salami, sopressata are all excellent choices!
- Next, load up on the cheeses. Make sure to include both soft and hard cheeses with varying milk types and colors. Providing options for mild and bold flavors will surely please a crowd. Soft cheeses like brie, goat, burrata, and fontina are wonderful options. Hard cheeses like gouda, manchego, and white cheddar are also popular.
- Add a little sweetness to the board by incorporating fresh and dried fruit. The fruit options are endless during the summer! Berries, cherries, stone fruit, and grapes are all excellent choices. Popular dried fruit choices include dried apricots, and figs.
- Spreads are another critical component to a charcuterie board. Jams and preserves are a route to take if you are looking for sweet options. These spreads help balance out the saltiness of the meats and cheeses. Don’t stop there with the spreads! You can also get creative with incorporating savory spreads like hummus, mustard, paté, and tapenade.
- For a little tang, incorporate something briny. Pickled vegetables like olives, pickles, and pepperoncinis easily pair with bold meats.
- Don’t forget the crackers and bread! Sliced baguettes, breadsticks, and plain crackers are always go-to’s since they won’t detract from the flavors of the other elements.
- For some crunch, add in a handful or two of nuts, and chocolate! A current favorite nut of mine are marcona almonds, but any type of roasted or raw nut would be an excellent addition to the board.
- Last but not least, beverages are an important part to the entire charcuterie board experience. Crack open a couple bottles of Health-Ade Kombucha (Bubbly Rose flavor) and you got yourself an award-winning charcuterie board!