Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or heading to a friend’s house for brunch, a charcuterie board is a crowd-favourite– and for good reason. You can completely customize everything to your guests liking once it’s perfectly plated, arranged, and ready to be served. Still not convinced? Rest assured that Rose Picnic 2019 has got you covered. We’ll be serving up picnic platters that will bring all your charcuterie dreams to life, and make a perfect pair to your glass of blush! Make sure you get your tickets now and don’t miss out!
The word charcuterie itself describes a large range of cured meats, from hard, thin-sliced cuts to softer spreads. A charcuterie board is a platter filled with these cured meats, along with artisanal cheeses and a few yummy snacks. Charcuterie has such a wide variety of purposes and can be served as a starter course for formal occasions, or it can be used as a light meal during casual events and gatherings.
The best thing about a charcuterie board is how versatile it is. You can mix, match, and arrange different textures and flavours to your heart’s desire. You can focus on a specific style, or even leave items off the board completely. The choice is up to you!
Now that we know what a charcuterie board is, let’s dive into how you can arrange one that is sure to please your guests, or your dinner and party hosts!
The first step is choosing your board, of course! You can purchase paddle-shaped cheese boards off Amazon or at your local store. You can literally use anything with a flat surface, such as a marble or wooden cutting board, or any type of flat serving tray that you have on hand.
Purchase a nice selection of cheeses. If you need help with which to choose, we have a handy guide here. The general rule of thumb is to select a soft cheese, a firm cheese, and a hard one to give some variety. We usually like to do a brie (soft), smoked gouda (semi-soft), blue (strong flavoured), and cheddar (since everyone loves cheddar). Leave the cheese uncut so that guests can slice off as much or as little as they want.
This can be optional if you’re planning on serving a cheese board, otherwise choose a rounded-out selection of meats for your charcuterie board. Some of our go-tos are prosciutto, speck, salami, and chorizo. For thinly sliced meats, such as prosciutto, present it by folding like an accordian, while meats like salami can be arranged like shingles on a roof.
To add some variety, a sliced herb-roasted turkey can allow your guests to enjoy a little bit of everything.
Choose your condiments to add fun, gourmet spreads and mustards to your board. Popular choices include whole-grain mustard and honey as well as a fruit spread, such as fig jam (it goes great with goat cheese and Bries). The addition of mustard allows guests to create mino-sandwiches of their choosing and the honey is delicious when drizzled on top of a piece of cheese. The condiments you choose to include on your charcuterie board really make a world of a difference and tops everything off!
Fruit is a great compliment to the meats and cheeses that you have on your board. Not only are they tasty on their own, they’re the perfect way to cleanse your palette. Grapes are a must-have but you can also include slices of fresh apples or pears. Unsalted nuts, such as almonds and cashews are also nice to have along with a selection of olives.
The inclusion of artisan crackers, sliced baguette, and crostini are the vehicles to get everything we mentioned above straight to your belly. It’s a super important step and you definitely don’t want to skip it!
While no one is actually going to eat this, the addition of some fresh herbs and greenery such as lemon leaves, fresh rosemary sprigs, or lavender can really elevate the look and feel of your board.
Last but definitely not least, ensure your guests have wine (or a non-alcoholic beverage if they’re pregnant or breastfeeding) to accompany and complement their charcuterie plates. When planning to serve your charcuterie board, you really can’t go wrong with rosé. Because it’s straddling the line between a red and white, it’s guaranteed to highlight the best of your featured meats and cheeses. The spice and saltiness of cured meats work to enhance the flavour of many rosé wines. Avoid dry rosés and stick with the sweeter, crisp flavours of a bottle of Private Reserve Rosé 2018 or Trius Brut Rosé from The Wine Shops. Both are excellent choices to complement the charcuterie flavours that you’re serving up on your board.
How that you know all the components of a great charcuterie board, go ahead and build one of your own! We can almost guarantee that it will be mouth wateringly delicious. Bon Appetit!