Charcuterie (pronounced shar-KOO-ta-REE) is a French term for a branch of cooking based around prepared meats. Charcuterie boards date all the way back to 15th century France. They are popular as ever today and remain a trend amongst foodies. Why? Charcuterie boards are versatile. They can be constructed for a variety of audiences, palates and events. They are a literal crowd pleaser!
Who doesn’t love to graze on a charcuterie board!
It’s like choosing your own adventure. So many combinations, so little time.
Where to Start?
The Basics | Charcuterie Architecture 101
Basic Components of A Charcuterie & Artisanal Cheese Board
Whole (think whole sausage or whole salami)
Soft (think pate)
Gluten Free Option
How to Style Your Charcuterie Board
First things first, select your board or choose a combination of boards. (See above the combination of charcuterie paper with different sized olive wood boards)
Wood Boards (Olive wood is one of my favorites! The grain...)
Start with your larger items.
Use a variety of ramekins, glass bowls, mason jars for the items that you want to keep contained. Think honey, preserves, marinated olives.
Place those items on the board first.
Next start placing your meats and cheeses. If you have a lot of one item, break it up and place the same item in multiple places on the board.
Fill in with your fruits, vegetables and nuts. Sprinkle around and fill in. You cannot go wrong on a charcuterie board. Space thing out, pack them in together, whatever pleases your eye! Pay attention to colors. Let the board be a feast for your eyes as well. Think about a variety of colors when buying your ingredients.
Still Need a Little Direction?
Having a theme can help give you some direction when standing around the grocery store feeling overwhelmed by all of the different selections. Regional boards are a great way to help you focus your energy. It’s simple. Pick a country or region and then fill up with as many items from that area as possible. It’s ok if you don’t stick 100% to the theme, just use it as a guideline.
A few ideas to help get your creative juices flowing. Another fun tip when making a regional board is to add a complimentary beverage from that area as well.
Prosciutto di Parma
Beef Bresaola (A favorite!)
Burrata Cheese (A favorite!)
Add a Prosecco for the perfect compliment!
Manchego Cheese (A favorite!)
Cabrales Blue Cheese
Marcona Almonds (A favorite!)
Semi-Dried Cherry Tomatoes
Add Sangria for the perfect compliment!
Bonus Ingredients for a full Mezza Board!
Stuffed Grape Leaves (A HUGE Favorite! Stay Tuned: Blog post coming on my mom’s FAMOUS grape leaves!)
Lamb Kofta Kabob
Add Ouzo for the perfect compliment!
You know what else is really great about Charcuterie? Even if you don't enjoy cooking or don't have time, you can effortlessly create a finger-food feast that will have your guests palates dancing and their bellies full.
Lastly, just have fun! A variety of items will please a variety of people.
the foundation starts with beautiful elements
GET THE PRODUCTS TO GET THE LOOK...
A standout Charcuterie presentation starts with beautiful elements like Charcuterie paper. Go big or go small; line a table or an entire countertop. Charcuterie paper is not only elegant but it makes cleanup a breeze. Decorative boards and bowls not only serve a purpose but they add texture, height and interest. Intermingle small vessels filled with flowers, herbs, etc. with the culinary delights. Remember, you eat with your eyes first! Bon Appetit!