Charcuterie & Cheese Board

Charcuterie, Cheese, & Bread Board

One of my favorite and easiest appetizers to prepare is a charcuterie and cheese board. They look like a lot of effort, but they’re really not! This is a great appetizer to include for Thanksgiving because there is usually something for everyone on it. Plus, it doesn’t take a lot of prep. You are just basically shopping for the ingredients. Today I’m going to walk you through how I organize a charcuterie and cheese board.

Charcuterie & Cheese Board

Let’s get started. Below are the following items to consider when putting together a charcuterie and cheese board.

Cheese: You want to have an assortment of textures and milk varieties on your board. This post really helped me figure out what cheeses to include. Since I was serving about 16 people (including kids) I decided to have 4 different types of cheese. I tried to keep in mind something sharp (white cheddar), something creamy (brie), something nutty (aged gouda), something fresh (goat cheese), and something funky (blue cheese).

Meat: Again you want to have some variety here. You want to keep in mind the textures, heat level,  and thickness of the meats you include. I try to have an array of salamis on hand as well as prosciutto. I had about 4-5 different meats when serving about 16 people. Since kids were eating this as well I kept all the meats fairly mild.

Fruit: When selecting fruit I try to picture what the board will look like. I want to include colors that will go well together. Also, since children were also partaking in this appetizer I included items that they would like. This included grapes, apples, and oranges. Dried fruits and fruit spreads are also great to have on hand. I always like to have a fig spread since it pairs so nicely with so many cheeses, but an apricot spread would work nicely too.

Nuts/Olives/Spreads: I’m not a huge olive fan, but they do add a great briny flavor to a board. Raw, roasted, and candied nuts add a nice component to a charcuterie board too. Other items to consider would be mustard, hummus, and tapenade.

Crackers/Bread: Here I try to have an assortment of crackers including gluten-free options. A sliced baguette or two also works well with a charcuterie and cheese board. Just make sure the crackers and bread you select are mild in flavor. You don’t want them to overpower the meat and cheese.

 

Charcuterie & Cheese

Other tips to consider:

  • Line your cutting board with brown parchment paper if using it as a tray. This will leave you with easy cleanup and the food won’t be in contact with the wood.
  • Start by laying out your cheeses first in different directions.
  • Next, place your meat on the board. Then, fill in the extra spaces with the fruits, nuts, and spreads.
  • Last, label your cheeses. I use these cheese markers.
  • Keep your crackers and bread on a separate tray so they don’t overcrowd your board.

I hope this is helpful and you consider creating your own charcuterie and cheese board for your next gathering!

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