The DO’S and DON’TS of a Charcuterie Board

It seems like 2020 is the year where EVERYONE is creating a charcuterie board for a party…I’m not kidding…EVERYONE. It’s popping up on social media accounts around the world, and for a good reason–they are delicious.

I’m part of this “everyone” I am talking about. Hello, it’s me–Sarah, a charcuterie board-obsessed lady who loves to buy all the fancy cheeses, meats, and snacks.

Each time, I’m asked the same question…”How do you decide what to put on a charcuterie board?” I’ve also been burned a few times in my personal choices of “fancy” cheeses and meats (mostly by picky kids). So, I’ve decided to create a helpful list of “The DO’S and DON’TS of a Charcuterie Board.”

Here ya go.

The DO’S and DON’TS of a Charcuterie Board

  1. The most important element is FLAVOR: Don’t be tempted by the big assortment of pre-packaged cheeses (and meats) you find at Costco. Go to your local grocery store and head to the deli. Ask to sample all the things that sound good to you. Think about WHO will be eating this charcuterie board and pick items both you and they will like. Include an assortment of flavors: salty, spicy, savory, and sweet.
  2. Keep it interesting with a variety of TEXTURES: Creamy, crunchy, smooth, chewy, etc. Remember that cheese is usually creamy, meat is usually stringy, and crackers are usually crunchy. Add in some chewy elements like dried figs or some crispy elements like sliced apples.
  3. We eat with our eyes first, so remember COLOR: Try to vary the colors on your board. Look for one food that is a rich red, another food that is a bright green, etc.
  4. Don’t forget to LABEL the various foods: Last week, I made the mistake of not labeling the different cheeses, and by the end, I couldn’t even remember which was which.
  5. Spruce up your board by adding fun DETAILS: Feel free to pop in some sprigs of rosemary and greens. (A cheaper option is to buy a fake Eucalyptus branch from Walmart for $2, trim it into parts, and place it in various locations on your board–plus you can reuse it!)
  6. KISS (KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID): Do not–I repeat–DO NOT spend $100 on your first charcuterie board. (I learned from that mistake and so did my wallet.) Before you make a trip to the store, assess what you already have in your pantry/fridge. Things you may already have that are great options include: dried fruit, nuts, apples, jam, cream cheese, olives, etc. The only things I usually need to buy are 2 types of crackers, 3 types of cured or dried meats, and 2 types of cheeses. EASY PEASY.

Our current favorite items to put on a charcuterie board include:

  • Aged white cheddar
  • A block of cream cheese, covered in jam (AMAZING on crackers)
  • Pastrami lunch meat (cut slices in half and form into cute little rolls)
  • Ritz crackers
  • Stacy’s pita chips

Have fun and LET ME KNOW if you have any questions!

Much love, Sarah

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