Eat | The Perfect Charcuterie Board

  1. Cheeses: choose a variety of hard and soft cheese, and cheese made from different animals (cow, sheep, goat). Expert tip: always choose at least one cheese that is familiar to your guests so they feel comfortable diving right in.
    • Hard cheeses: manchego, cheddar (white or orange), swiss, gouda, gruyere, parmesan etc.
    • Soft cheeses: brie, triple cream, goat cheese, havarti, burrata, cream cheese with pepper jelly on top (our favorite!). Could also you blue cheese or gorgonzola.
  2. Meats: prosciutto, salami, ham, cured chorizo, capricola, soppressata, summer sausage, etc.
  3. Savory accompaniments:
    • Nuts: almonds (marcona almonds from Trader Joes are my favorite!), candied pecans, pistachio nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, etc.
    • Briny, pickled or marinated: olives, cocktail onions, cornichons, dill pickles, pepperoncini. We love green olives stuffed with garlic or feta, and I also like including olive tapenade and bruschetta.
    • Savory Dips and spreads: Whole ground mustard, hummus, ranch, balsamic dip.
    • Veggies – cold cut, if desired
  4. Sweet accompaniments:
    • Fresh fruit and berries: grapes, apples, pears, oranges, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries.
    • Dried fruit: apricots, cherries, figs, pineapple, mango
    • Sweet spreads: Fig butter (Trader Joes brand is on every board I make!), orange marmalade, blackberry jam or other sweet spreads.
    • Chocolate: a few pieces of quality dark chocolate or chocolate covered nuts.
  5. Crackers: choose a variety of crackers, (or even sliced baguette or mini toasts) of different shapes, sizes and flavors. Some of my personal favorites include thin croccantini crackers, pita crackers, and Trader Joes raisin rosemary crisps.
charcuterie board
charcuterie board 2
  • Start with the cheese: The cheese because it anchors the board. Work in odd numbers, so, depending on the size of your party, choose 3, 5, or 7 types of cheeses to place around the board.
  • Fold and add the meats: Try folding them in half and fanning them out like a dec of cards, or folding them in half twice, so they are easy to grab. For thin meat (like prosciutto) fold them in a light and airy ribbon.
  • Add savory and sweet accompaniments. Fill in some of the gaps with savory and sweet. Separate colors in a way that allows the brightest colors to stand out and place foods together that pair well together. For example, mustard, briny foods and nuts near salami and sopresseta, and sharp cheeses like parmesan. Pair sweet accompaniments like fresh fruit, jams, and candied nuts, near the brie cheese or goat cheese. Cheddar cheese pairs well with savory and sweet.
  • Fill in all the extra space with crackers: look for gaps in the board and spread crackers all throughout. Fill in any remaining space with extra small nuts or fruit.