How to Make a Charcuterie Board That Stands Out
Ways to Incorporate Nut and Fudge Items In Charcuterie
If you've been waiting for the ultimate appetizer for your next gathering, we've got a grand suggestion. Behold: the charcuterie board.
Charcuterie (pronounced Shar-COOT-er-ee) is essentially a mini-buffet of sliced meat, cheese, nuts, fruit, and spreads. These items are placed on a wooden board – charcuterie boards are known for being arranged beautifully.
Whether you're hosting happy hour, a dashing dinner party, or you want to spice up your simple gathering with a striking snack, this is the appetizer for you.
Preparing a charcuterie board might seem like a challenge. What goes on a charcuterie board – and what doesn't? How should each item be arranged?
Read our guide below, and your next party, brunch, or happy hour will be tres élégant.
Why are Charcuterie Boards So Popular?
For centuries, charcuterie boards have been a popular shared treat. They were technically invented in 15th century France, though curing meat for similar purposes has been around since the Roman empire 2,000 years ago.
Charcuterie boards are the ultimate crowd-pleaser. They're versatile and gorgeous – and did we mention that they're tasty?
Here's why we love charcuterie boards:
With so many options on one board, there's something for everyone – even picky eaters!
They give you the chance to take your taste buds to uncharted waters and try something new!
They're fun to put together – go ahead and snap a pic of your board for Instagram!
Choosing the Right Meat
Sliced meat takes centre stage on a charcuterie board. If you're slicing your own meat, you'll want to keep a few things in mind.
First, you'll want to slice meat while it's cold to keep each cut consistent. For freshness, you'll also want to cut the meat as closely to the moment you're serving the board.
Make sure you have a blend of diverse meats – some should be strong and salty, and others should be simple.
Some of the most common meats used in charcuterie boards are salami, mortadella, calabrese, and prosciutto.
Choosing the Right Cheese
Cheese and meat go together like bees and honey. Even the pickiest eater in town's mouth will water with the right arrangement of cheese. We recommend picking at least three types, but the more cheese, the merrier. You'll want a diverse palette of cheese: some soft and some block, some sharp, and some mild.
Salami and gouda are one of the most popular charcuterie pairings, while prosciutto and mozzarella are also a top pick.
Choosing the Right Nuts
Nuts are a charcuterie board's secret weapon: they're nutritious, crunchy, and packed with flavour. Here are some of the kinds of nuts you might consider – all of which we sell at Bruce County Nut and Fudge!
Caramel-Glazed Almonds for a classic mix of savoury and sweet tastes
Caramel-Glazed Pecans for a taste of southern comfort
Coconut Cashews for a tropical twist
Chipotle Pumpkin Seeds with Dried Cranberries for a kick of unpredictability
Pair with Wine
Who doesn't love wine and cheese? You can upgrade the elegance of your charcuterie board by serving it with a wine of your choice. You might also consider turning your gathering into a D.I.Y. wine-tasting 'tour' by asking each guest to bring their favourite bottle of wine.
Add Something Sweet
Charcuterie is considered a relatively healthy plate, but that doesn't mean you can't treat yourself a little. Besides, the point of charcuterie boards is to mix flavours that complement each other, and sweet pairs excellently with salty.
There are tons of ways to sweeten up your charcuterie board: fresh fruit, berries, dried fruit, marshmallows, or even our homemade fudge and sliced caramel apples!
CHECK OUT OUR HOMEMADE FUDGE HERE
Presentation is Key
Part of what makes charcuterie boards so great is the way they look. You might find it easy to prepare your board, or you might find it daunting – here are some tips!
Don't overthink it! On a charcuterie board, imperfection is perfection.
Charcuterie boards aren't mathematical, and symmetry is boring. Aim for abstract shapes with odd numbers of items.
Start with big items, then let groups of small items trail around the larger pieces.
Small decorations make a big difference.
Carbs are Your Friend
Are charcuterie boards a balanced appetizer? Of course.
Does that mean you can't incorporate bread? Not at all! Bread is totally welcome at our charcuterie board, and you may choose to introduce a bakery-made bread into yours, too.
More Tastes You Can Add
Don't be afraid to get creative! You can add foods that are less-than-obvious to your board to increase its appeal. Some of our favourite additions include crackers, pickled veggies, and various dips.Now you know how to make the perfect charcuterie board. If you're not 100% secure in your board-prep skills, don't sweat it. Every charcuterie board is unique, and that's what makes them so exciting!