How to Make the Perfect Charcuterie Board at Home
A Homemade Charcuterie Board is a Guaranteed Family Pleaser!
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You Don’t Need a Recipe to Make the Perfect Charcuterie Board!
My friend, Jeanne first introduced me to the concept of a Charcuterie Board ( (pronounced shar-kood-eree)! (Try saying that multiple times!)
Jeanne is naturally creative and loves trying new things. She’s trendy! And, when you visit her, you will come away having experienced something new and delicious. Whether it’s a delightful new wine or a tasty new recipe, a visit to Jeanne’s is culinary heaven.
So, when I first saw and tasted her Charcuterie Board, I knew that I HAD to try it!
What is a Charcuterie Board?
Charcuterie refers to the ancient art of salting, smoking, brining, or curing meats.
Charcuterie is especially popular in France and the term actually originated from France. It has a huge following in Europe and it’s gaining in popularity North America.
There is a lot of great information online on the origins of the Charcuterie Board. But, for purposes of this post, we will focus on creating this delicious and masterfully prepared platter of delicious and complimentary meats, cheeses, fruits and nuts that you and your family can experience and enjoy any time of the year.
This board can be made to please just about any palate (even kids!) and customized for the season.
It adds a bit of creative fun and entertainment to your parties and even your everyday meals! Like arts and crafts, you can let your creative juices explode by putting all sorts of delicious food combinations together to create your own unique presentation.
And, since Charcuterie Boards don’t require cooking, you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing appetizers or dinner for your guests or family. Much of the work involves opening cans, chopping cheese, rinsing fruits and placing these delicious food items on a platter.
Ingredients and Strategy to Make a Charcuterie Board at Home
I have learned through practice that to create a balanced and visually-appealing Charcuterie Board, you must plan.
Careful thought, preparation and effort should go into the design of your own unique board. Below are some of the more common ingredients you may want to include in yours.
- Meats. By definition, a Charcuterie Board is a meat platter. So, you should have at least two or three different types of meats. The meats don’t have to be expensive. I like using dry, cured sausages, prosciutto or salamis and slices of simple rolled-up deli meats. If you’re adventurous, you’ll want to include a few exotic meats and pates that are available in specialty stores or the gourmet/deli sections of some grocery stores. Try to choose a variety of mild and bold flavors. And, plan for 2 to 3-ounces of meat per person for an appetizer or twice as much if it’s the main dish.
- Cheeses. Pick your favorite cheeses and arrange them on the board. Goat cheese, white cheddar, and provolone are some of our favorites. But, since we normally have cheddar on hand, it seems always to sneak its way on my Charcuterie Board. A good tip is to try to have at least one hard and one soft cheese for variety.
- Fruits. Sliced pears, sliced apples, grapes and other fresh fruit are wonderful to include. Dried fruits such as peaches, apples or figs make a tasty accompaniment to the salty meats and cheeses. Fruit jams or jellies are also a sweet, flavorful addition. And, don’t hesitate to include any homemade jams or jellies! It just makes the tray that much more special.
- Garnishes. I like including marinated olives, pickled vegetables, and nuts of all varieties. It also looks nice placing some of those items in little, glass bowls. By putting them in small containers, the platter looks more orderly, and the garnishes are easier to pick-up. Also, consider the textures and colors of the garnishes when determining which ones to include. Charcuterie Boards look best when they display a variety of colors and textures.
- Bread or Crackers. I tend to include crispy crackers and sliced baguette that are not intensely flavored so that they don’t compete with the rest of the board items.
- Spreads. Hummus, tapenades, flavored cream cheese, nut butters and other flavorful spreads are great on crackers and baguettes.
Wine – The Perfect Accompaniment to a Charcuterie Board
Of course, wine is the perfect accompaniment to a Charcuterie Board.
But, did you know that it’s also a great accompaniment when you are making a Charcuterie Board? Ha! Sipping a glass of wine while crafting the board makes it just that much better.
And, one of the best ways to ensure that you always have wine on hand is to join an online wine club.
Wine clubs are gaining in popularity because they are so convenient and give you access to a variety of good wines that you would likely never try or find in your area.
A great wine club is the GoldMedalWineClub.com . This wine club provides medal-winning wines from California’s best boutique wineries. They offer small-production wine usually crafted by a family-owned winery. They have different plans available and you can customize how often you want to receive a wine shipment. And, their wine prices are reasonable.
Setting Up the Charcuterie Board Display
The most challenging step in making a Charcuterie Board is arranging the food on a platter or groups of platters so that it doesn’t look contrived and perfectly lined up.
There is an art to displaying the food items so that they look gorgeously, delicious in a casual way. I’m working on that and often go on Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. But, honestly, how can you go wrong with all that deliciousness!
A Charcuterie Board is an excellent solution for the dinner doldrums.
Your family will enjoy its unique flavors and taste! And, you will relish how EASY it is to pull together. There’s no cooking involved! So, with a just bit of planning, you can pull together an incredible meal in no time!
And, if nothing else, it’s a great excuse to open that delicious bottle of boutique wine that’s been calling your name!
Try your hand at making a Charcuterie Board and send me a picture! Of course, I want to hear from you!
And, if you liked the Charcuterie Board, join me on Facebook, where I regularly feature new recipes and more.