Nothing says holiday season gathering quite like a good charcuterie board! These are a great dish to bring to any party or for hosting one yourself because they’re easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. Here are a few tips to make sure your charcuterie board has all the right fixings and is just as decorative as it is delicious!
FINDING THE RIGHT BOARD First let’s start off with the board itself. A nice looking wood cutting board or bowl are always a great option. You can even use a couple of them pushed together depending on how extravagant your board is going to be. Next, the ingredients…the best part for me about putting together a charcuterie board is that you can be as creative as you want with it. There are a few staples when starting off the board, and then your personal preferences can branch off from there. One good rule of thumb when building your board is to make sure that you have a good mix of sweet and savory. _____
THE STAPLES The first staple ingredient and most important to me would be CHEESE. For a normal size charcuterie board, anywhere between 2-3 different kinds of cheese are ideal. It’s also good to mix up the types of cheese, maybe one soft, one semi-firm and one firm with varying boldness in flavors. Next, some sort of bread and a couple cracker options are important. The last main staple of a good board is the meat. As far as the meat goes, prosciutto and salami are always a hit. _____
ALL THE FLAVORS From here, you have all of the add-ons and little details that make for a pleasing charcuterie spread. It’s always good to have a couple healthy options like fruits and nuts to make the board not feel so heavy. Apples, grapes, almonds and pecans are both tasty and aesthetically pleasing! It’s also a good idea to add something with bold or spicy flavors to compliment the meats/cheeses like some sort of pickled vegetables or olives. Spreads such as jams, mustards and hummus bring all the ingredients together and help with the cohesiveness of the board. _____
PAIR WINE WITH YOUR CHARCUTERIE BOARD A light red that is crisp with high acidity and lots of bright red fruits like a Forge Cellars Pinot Noir or Beaujolais Cru are great options. If you’re looking for a cozier red with a little more body, a Syrah from the Northern Rhone or Santa Barbara will do the trick. These wines are full of spice and savory notes, making for the perfect pairing with your charcuterie! _____
THE SPECIAL HOLIDAY TOUCH Lastly, adding some festive decor to the board is sure to bring it all together and have your charcuterie display the topic of conversation! A good holiday board could include some pinecones, rosemary or thyme, cinnamon sticks and slices of fresh fruit like orange and lemon. Switch out the details depending on which holiday you’re celebrating, but the staple ingredients can remain the same! What’s great about putting everything together is that it doesn’t need to look neat and organized. The best charcuterie boards have a more scattered display of ingredients, so feel free to get creative!