8 Things You Need to Craft a Great Charcuterie Board

October 13, 2022 3 min read

What is Charcuterie?

The word charcuterie originated in France in the 15th century and translates to “pork butcher shop.” A traditional charcuterie is a place like a delicatessen that sells cured pork products and meats such as salami, hams, sausage, and pate. In today’s world,  charcuterie means “preparing, assembling, and artfully arranging cured meats with cheeses, fruits, vegetables, crackers, or bread.” 

Before refrigeration, preserving meats by smoking and curing was an essential part of life to ensure food didn’t spoil. What was once a necessity has evolved into a popular appetizer item for many restaurants.

As grocery stores expand, it is even easier to get the ingredients needed to create the ultimate grazers paradise of our own for dinner parties, game days, and holiday get-togethers! 

Charcuterie Checklist

To create a crowd-pleasing charcuterie board, you’ll need a combination of the following staples:

  1. A board - The options are endless! Rectangular boards are easiest to work with but consider other shapes, sizes, and materials to mix it up. A wooden cutting board with a handle, a piece of soapstone or slate, or even a rustic slab of wood are all great options. 
  2. Tools - You want your guest to be able to enjoy this beautiful spread you’ve created, so be sure to include small knives and spoons to make each item easily accessible.
  3. Cured meats - Cured meats are the foundation of any board. Choose 3-5 different types of cold meats. Add more options for larger boards. 
  4. Cheeses - Offer 1-2 different cheeses that vary in taste, texture, and sharpness for smaller boards and 4-5 options for larger boards. Resist the temptation to slice your cheeses before serving. Bricks of cheese make for a better aesthetic! 
  5. Acidity -  Think cornichons, olives, anchovies, pickled peppers, veggies, or tapenades. The salty/sour component is a nice contrast to all of the savory meats and cheeses. 
  6. Something sweet - Incorporating jams, fresh or dried fruit, or honey into your offerings helps to offset the salty flavors.
  7. Texture - A beautiful french baguette, nuts, or crackers adds dimension and crunch. 
  8. Decor - A beautiful charcuterie board is a feast for the senses. Consider your theme or add seasonal decorative elements to your board to bring it to the next level, such as fresh herbs, edible flowers, gourds, or pumpkins. 

Build your Board

When creating a gorgeous charcuterie board, you’re limited only by your imagination. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, consider one of these tasty combinations to get your creative juices flowing:

Sweet and Savory Board: 

Meats: Prosciutto, Volpi Prep Coppa, and Peppered Salami

Cheeses: Fontina, Havarti, French Brie, Blueberry Goat Cheese

Nuts:Almonds and Cashews

Fruit: Grapes and any kind of berries, such as strawberries and blackberries

Crackers: Try playing with different flavors like garden herbs, rosemary, garlic, or anything sea salt. 


VIP Board: 

Meats:Roast Beef (thinly sliced), Hard Salami, Prosciutto

Cheeses: Gruyere, Sharp Cheddar, Roquefort

Nuts: Almonds

Fruit: Bartlett Pear, Honeycrisp Apple, Grapes, Dried Figs

Bread/Crackers:Water Crackers, French Baguette

Sweet: Local Honey, Sour Cherry Preserves, Raspberry Jam


Antipasto Board: 

Meats:Pepperoni, Salami, Prosciutto, Hot Ham or Capicola

Cheeses:Parmesan, Asiago, Provolone

Nuts:Almonds 

Veggies: Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Red Peppers, Mixed Pitted Olives, Peppadew or Hot Cherry Peppers, Marinated Mushrooms

Bread:  Focaccia - toasted and sliced

Sweet: Good quality Olive Oil or Spicy Honey for drizzling



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