Building a Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie Board (Summer Dinner Party)

I love meat, and boy oh boy do I love cheese.  Any time I see an opportunity for a charcuterie board I tend to jump at it.  That goes for eating and building one.  I feel like the  idea of a charcuterie board can be a bit intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be.

You can go as basic or as elevated as you want with a good charcuterie board, but there are some important tips you must always remember.

  • Soft Cheese

  • Hard Cheese

  • Salty Meat

  • Mild Meat

  • A Little Something Sweet

You can never go wrong if you always keep those things in mind!  Here’s what I put on my ideal charcuterie board:

Soft Cheese

  • Brie

  • Goat Cheese (My Fav!)

  • Blue Cheese

  • Gorgonzola

Hard Cheese

  • Parmesan

  • Asiago

  • Gouda (My Fav!)

Salty Meat

  • Prosciutto

  • Country Ham

Mild Meat (Mild means mild seasoning.  Not necessarily spice!)

  • Salami

  • Peperoni

  • Capicola

Something Sweet

  • Grapes

  • Dried Fruit

  • Honey

  • Chutney

  • Preserve

If you’re making a big board or a super fancy one you can also add:

  • Tart/Tangy things like cornichons, cherries, olives

  • Spreadable things like pate, hummus, pesto

  • Crunchy things like almonds, pecans, cashews

I’m sure there is a super fancy rhyme or reason to building a charcuterie board, but honestly–put stuff on there you know you love.  Quality ingredients for these sorts of things are far too expensive to waste money on something you and your guests won’t eat.  Give it a little variety and have fun with it!  What you put your assortment on can even be fun.  

A classic charcuterie board is always served on a wooden platter or cutting board. Pro tip: I love using parchment paper or butcher paper. I offer charcuterie boards quite often for dinner parties. They are visually impressive, offer lots of variety, and give guests a chance to eat and snack while I continue cooking. I always set them up on disposable paper because it allows me to whip out my sharpie and label the cheeses as well as it lends for easy clean up.

Charcuterie Labeling

Consider some height and depth when laying things on your board, and don’t be afraid to keep it simple with just a plate of meat and a plate of cheese.

Don’t forget the crackers!