How to Make the Perfect Charcuterie Board
The internet and many chefs’ social media accounts usually buzz with different methods of preparing charcuterie boards. This is because they are excellent meals that can serve as appetizers in any gathering, such as games, parties, get-togethers, and many more.
From the eyes of an observer, a charcuterie board may seem very challenging to make. This is due to the amount of deliciousness outlined in a setting. On the contrary, making a charcuterie board is much easier than you imagine when you have the best ideas and knowledge. The right recipes, food ideas for various occasions, and professional tips for displaying and assembling your charcuterie board will set you on the right track.
This article provides the easiest way to make a mouth-watering charcuterie board and serve them as fun and festive.
Why Is it Called Charcuterie?
The etymology of Charcuterie could be traced to two French words; “Chair,” which means “Flesh,” and “Cut,” which means “Cooked.” We can call it cooked flesh. However, a more expressive meaning of charcuterie refers to the preparation and arrangement of cured meats and other kinds of meat, such as salami, bacon, prosciutto, and more.
However, the presence of fun and individual elements in the making of charcuterie has converted it into an assortment of meats accompanied by fruits, nuts, vegetables, a variety of cheeses, toast, crackers, and sauces or spreads.
Suppose you plan to include a charcuterie on the menu of any occasion. In that case, there are some helpful things to note, from understanding the common types of charcuterie to making a delicious charcuterie board.
What Do You Need to Make a Charcuterie Board?
To begin with, you’ll need a board. The board you decide to use may vary in size and shape. There are no specific board sizes, although, depending on what you’re planning, your board may be big (24x24 inches) or less. You can also decide to be creative with your board size and style. In the long run, it’s your board and your occasion, so anything goes.
To complement the board, you will also need some medium to small-sized dishes for plating and serving. You can visit antique stores to acquire beautiful little plates, spoons, and serving pieces. Most people go for white or clear dishes to match the board’s appearance and ensure there are no too busy colors. Start arranging plates on your board to guide where particular food will be placed.
The following are foods and other appetizers that can go into a charcuterie board include:
You can select cheeses from various hard and soft kinds of cheese and those made from animals, such as cows, sheep, or goats. It would be best if you chose a variety of cheese your guests like so they are comfortable while eating.
Soft cheeses to try out include brie, goat cheese, cream cheese with pepper jelly and toppings, triple creamy burrata, and Havarti. Cheddar (white or orange), manchego, parmesan, swiss, gruyere, and gouda are excellent choices for hard cheeses.
The kinds of meat you can include in your charcuterie board include prosciutto, ham, cured chorizo, summer sausage, soppressata, capicola, salami, and other choices you prefer.
Some savory foods that could accompany the perfect charcuterie board are:
- Tasty Dips and Spread: Examples include hummus, balsamic dip, whole ground mustard, ranch, etc.
- Nuts: Such as almonds, pistachio nuts, cashews, candied pecans, macadamia nuts, etc.
- Veggies: Cold cuts such as ham, roast meat, and other kinds you desire are suitable.
- Pickled, Briny, or Marinated: Pepperoncini, cocktail onions, olives, dill pickles, and bruschetta are viable options.
Some sweet additions to your charcuterie board are:
- Sweet Spread: Spread such as fig butter, blackberry jam, orange marmalade, and other sweet spreads best suit your guests.
- Fresh Fruits and Berries: Use colourful fruits like apples, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, oranges, blueberries, and blackberries.
- Chocolate: Get a few pieces of darkened chocolates or chocolate-covered nuts.
- Dried Fruit: The best to include are cherries, mango, pineapple, figs, and apricots.
Select various kinds of crackers of different sizes, shapes, and flavors. You can even add mini toast or sliced baguette. Some crackers to use are raisin rosemary crisps, croccantini crackers, pita crackers, and more.
How to Set a Charcuterie Board
Once you have all foods that will go into the charcuterie board, the next step is to arrange them as best as you can. Below are some essential tips for setting up a charcuterie board:
- Begin With the Cheese: Starting with cheese serves as a good anchorage on the board. They create an alignment and help to slot in your other food choices. Work in odd numbers by placing 3,5 or 7 types of cheese depending on the size of your board.
- Fold and Add the Meats: Fold the curled meats before placing them on the board. Folding creates more crispness to the board and makes them easy to grab.
- Add Sweet and Savory Accompaniments: Insert some sweet and savory food into the gaps. Differentiate colors by making sure the brightest colors are evident, and foods that complement each other should be placed side by side. For instance, place fresh fruits, candied nuts, and jams near goat cheese or brie cheese.
- Crackers Go in Last: Locate gaps on the board and fill them up by spreading crackers throughout. Then fill any space left with small fruit or nuts.
- Keep Your Board Simple: You should create your charcuterie board based on the number of people you expect. Also, ensure you fill it with simple food the general guest can nib at and enjoy eating.
- Make it Colorful: Aside from the plates that should be mild, add color through fruits like strawberries, green and red grapes, blueberries, bright red apples, and raspberries.
Making the perfect charcuterie board shouldn’t be much of a headache. With the simple details we’ve provided in this guide, you can design your charcuterie board and go all the way to make it beautiful.