Nothing shows off your hosting skills quite like an epic, restaurant-quality charcuterie board. Charcuterie is simply a combination of cheeses, meats, and accompaniments that makes for a killer appetizer or party snack. We'll share our carefully cultivated tips for the ultimate charcuterie board, guaranteed to impress your guests with a veteran blend of charming cheeses, mouthwatering meats, and amazing accompaniments. Bon appetit!
A variety of textures and flavors will help build your cheese base. Aim for 1-2 oz. of cheese per person. It's best to start with three cheeses: one hard, one soft, and one blue. For a soft spreadable cheese, we love the rich French brie. For a hard cheese, an aged gouda is a great choice. And a classic blue cheese adds some funky notes to elevate your board. You can certainly add extra types of cheeses too, like a whipped ricotta for a creamy option or goat cheese for extra tang. We also love boursin, an herby and garlicky spreadable cheese that is majorly addictive. Pro tip: if you're in a rush, you can stop here at this step and just serve a luscious cheese board!
The next component of a successful charcuterie board is the meat varietals. Try to have 3-4 pieces for every person, and at least two types of meat. We like to start with a basic salami for a classic choice. Another dry cured option like chorizo adds an unexpected spicy note plus European vibes. We're also fond of adding decadent liver pâté spread for more adventurous eaters. Prosciutto, a thin Italian ham, offers a salty and approachable choice too. Play around with different types and don't be afraid to try new things!
Accompaniments are where you can truly make a charcuterie board shine. Start with a couple types of dried nuts, like shelled pistachios and candied walnuts. Either use cute ramekins or layer heaping amounts onto the plate so it looks extra full and inviting. Then, add a sweet dried element and moistened salty element; we prefer dried apricots and olives. Next, consider a balance of sweet and salty spreads. We're obsessed with the combination of pepper jelly and homemade fruit preserve. For a more savory and herby take, add homemade pesto and/or balsamic reduction. Don't forget that fresh fruit is key for a memorable board. Our favorites are seedless red grapes, beautiful figs, and fresh pears sliced ultra thin. Feel free to mix and match according to your tastes! Finally, bread is the vital vehicle for enjoyment of charcuterie. We like to offer a few different kinds for maximum guest satisfaction. We can't get enough of crusty toasted baguette, thin and crunchy Italian breadsticks, and salty pretzels.
Now that your board is built, don't forget about a few extra items. Make sure to choose a large wooden board as your serving base for a rustic presentation. Marble cheese trays are also quite pretty and up the sophistication factor. You'll also want to make sure to include little serving utensils for the variety of components. Use the spreader/spatula for your soft cheese, and the cheese knife for any mid-level cheese. The fork can be utilized for the meats, while the shaver is an excellent choice for a hard cheese. For all the accompaniments, a simple set of spreaders makes it easy for guests to sample multiple options. Lastly, consider creating a cute menu board that lists all the items, or using place cards as signage for each item. Chalkboard ramekins are another cool way to list what's in each container without using paper. Not only is custom signage charming, but it means everyone won't be asking you what each item is all evening long. We hope you loved our guide to the ultimate charcuterie board! Happy hosting!