Charcuterie is a French term that loosely translates to “pork butcher’s shop and delicatessan (deli).” the name was originally used to designate shops in the fifteenth-century France that sold pork products. Today, Charcuterie has become somewhat of an artform and is highly regarded in the culinary world.
There are many ways to build a Charcuterie board, but most commonly they consist of different types of meats, cheeses, olives, fruit, bread and crackers, nuts and a spread or two. With growing popularity, it is now becoming a common item on restaurant menus and is the perfect solution for feeding a group of people. Here are some tips for making the perfect Charcuterie board!
First, find a large wooden cutting board or serving platter to use for your arrangement. Then begin thinking about the different colors and textures you’d like to incorporate to create a great sensory experience. Don’t be afraid to stack – the board should look full!
Meats: When deciding the amount you will need, estimate about three to four slices per person. Be sure to include a variety of flavors and textures. (Suggestions: Salami, Prosciutto, Ham or Summer Sausage)
Cheese: You should estimate about one to two ounces of cheese per person and be sure to offer a variety of both hard and soft cheeses with varying sharpness. (suggestions: Sharp Cheddar, Brie, Muenster, Swiss or Gouda)
Bread and Crackers: It’s important to have a good variety of bread and crackers to pair with the salty meats. (Suggestions: Light & Buttery Crackers, Grain Crackers, Sliced French Baguette or Sliced Dark Rye Bread)
Fruit and Nuts: Have a selection of both fresh and dried fruits for a variety of textures and colors. Choose any variety of nuts, but they should be salted and shelled. (Suggestions: Fresh Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries or even Grape Tomatoes, Dried Apricots and Apples, Cashews, Almonds and Pistachios)
Pickles, Olives and Spreads: A great way to add more variety to your board is to fill small bowls with various dips/spreads, pickles or olives. (Suggestions: Black Olives, Kalamata Olives, Dill or Sweet Pickles, Spinach Dip, Aioli or Mustard)