Charcuterie Board Breakdown
First off … how do you pronounce charcuterie? [shahr-koo-tuh–ree].
Now, a charcuterie board is more than just piles of meat and cheese on a rustic, stylish looking plank of wood. Part of our transition from the traditional bowls of Party Mix and All-Dressed Ruffles, it is a symbol of our coming-of-age, a factor in what Urban Dictionary defines as “adulting”, and, let’s be honest, it makes you feel fancy af.
I know it seems a bit silly to write a how-to article about a literal plate of random meats and cheese, but anytime my friends and I discuss this there’s always that one person who has no idea where to start or is too busy to spend much time thinking about it. The best thing about putting together charcuterie boards is also the absolute worst - choices! Unlimited options of meat, cheese and spread combinations, pickles or eggs, fruits or veggies, honey or mustard - lots of choices.
So, I’m here to help simplify the thought process and think about it so you don't have to. Pop your charcuterie cherry with the list below!
MEAT - roll it, pile it, fold it...
I estimate about 3-4 slices of meat per person when building a board. I try to include a variety of flavors and textures.
(Pick 2 or 3)
Peppered Salame or Soppresatta
CHEESE - Slice some then leave the wedge on the board.
Look for various hard and soft cheeses from mellow to sharp. Cheeses are easiest served already sliced. No, don’t layer kraft singles or those pre-sliced cheddar cheese slices meant for burgers...You’re better than that.
(I’d pick 3-4 or more. I mean, it’s cheese)
Cheddar Cheese (the older the better IMO)
Manchego Wedge Cheese
Parmesan Reggiano Cheese Wedge
Some kind of cheese ball
BREAD AND CRACKERS - Like chips but classier
Variety is key, I like to include buttery flaky crackers, grain crackers and thinly sliced and toasted baguettes.Rice crackers and artisan crackers are a personal favourite…
(Pick 2 or 3)
Marketside French Baguette sliced and toasted
Everything Pretzel Crisps
Artisan or Seeded Crackers
FRUIT & NUTS - Go wild…
To be honest, I tend to treat fruit as an accent rather than an actual food on a board. As you are purchasing fruits, keep a variety of colours in mind for a beautiful board. Nuts should be shelled and salted.
Assorted fresh berries
BONUS: Adding small bowls filled with dill pickles, olives, jellies, mustards and dips (hummus, spinach, onion) is a great way to add some zip and flavor to your board.