Charcuterie boards, also known as meat and cheese board, are platters of cured meats, cheeses, and other accompaniments such as bread, fruit, and pickled vegetables. “charcuterie” refers to preparing and assembling these meats and cheeses.
The name “charcuterie” is derived from the French words “char” and “cuit,” which means “meat” and “cooked.” These meats and cheese in charcuterie boards are placed on a wooden board, hence, the name.
Charcuterie boards are a great idea this holiday season, as you can include hams and different types of cheese. However, charcuterie boards can be done on any day, and there are different ways to fill a charcuterie Board.
What makes up an epic charcuterie board?
Charcuterie boards are often served as appetizers or snacks and are a popular option for parties and gatherings. The meats and cheeses on a charcuterie board are typically arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way and can include a variety of different types. The accompaniments on the board can vary but might consist of olives, honey, nuts, fresh herbs, and jams.
A balance of flavors and textures is key to a successful charcuterie board. A variety of meats and cheeses with different flavors and textures will provide a satisfying range of tastes and sensations for the palate. The accompaniments should complement the meats and cheeses, adding acidity, sweetness, or crunch to the charcuterie board.
The presentation of a charcuterie board is also essential. The meats and cheeses should be arranged beautifully, with the different ingredients separated. Charcuterie boards are made to be Instagrammable, so aesthetics is necessary. Even the board itself should be made from high-quality wood or marble.
Of course, your friends and family should also be included in feasting on the charcuterie board because charcuterie boards are made for sharing. Charcuterie boards are an excellent addition when drinking. Savoring different meats and cheeses together can create a feeling of togetherness.
The key ingredients of a charcuterie board
The meat is the heart of the charcuterie board. With it, the charcuterie board will be the same. The meats on these flavorful boards are ham, lamb, bacon, sausages, galantines, and pates. However, you can still add your twist to the charcuterie board you are making.
Add steak, chicken, summer sausage, and turkey meats to the charcuterie board. The only thing that you should consider is for the meat to be bite-sized and easy to chew.
Soft, semi-soft, and hard cheeses can all be included in the charcuterie board as it creates variety. You can go for brie cheese, camembert, and feta for soft cheeses. On the other hand, you can include gorgonzola, blue cheese, and Roquefort if you opt to add semi-soft cheese. And for hard cheeses, you can have cheddar, gouda, and parmesan in your charcuterie board.
Other cheeses added to a charcuterie board include goat cheese, cream cheese, Manchego, or even the Pinoy classic Queso de Bola. The cheeses chosen for a charcuterie board depend on your preference and the other items included in the board. You can add any cheese if they complement every other food on the board.
Fruits and dried fruits
Fruits like grapes, raspberries, strawberries, apple slices, and bananas can be added to the charcuterie board as it provides a contrast to the board. When fresh fruit, make sure to add fruits that are sliced. The key is to include a variety of colors, flavors, and textures to create an exciting and appealing spread.
On the other hand, dried fruits add a sweet and tangy element to a charcuterie board. Some popular options include figs, apricots, dates, and raisins. Dried fruit can also be paired with sweet spreads or honey. They are an excellent option for those seeking a healthier alternative to traditional charcuterie items.
Biscuits and bread are perfect for the cheeses and meat on the charcuterie board. One of the best biscuits to add to your charcuterie board is crackers. Crackers like whole grain, seeded, and herbal crackers perfectly go with cheese. On the other hand, shortbread cookies are a classic choice for a charcuterie board because they pair well with various types of meat and cheeses.
When it comes to bread, the best bread to add to your charcuterie board are Thin slices of baguette and flatbreads, such as lavash or pita, which can be cut into small pieces. Baguettes can be toasted and topped with cheese, meats, and spreads. On the other hand, flatbreads are excellent for making mini sandwiches.
How to build a gorgeous charcuterie board?
To prepare a charcuterie board, you should first slice the meats into their appropriate slices. Make sure to slice the meat into small pieces before smoking or curing them. If you hate slicing meats, you can buy packs of smoked and cured meats that are already sliced.
Once you are settled with the meats, you should slice the cheese. To avoid confusion, it is best to have a different cheese slice for another kind of cheese. If you slice one type of cheese into small cubes, you can slice the others into triangles and strips. On the other hand, fruits should be sliced how they are meant to be served.
After slicing the contents of your board, you are now going to arrange them. The best way to organize your charcuterie board is to anchor the board with bigger objects. Place the most prominent piece at your board’s center and other foods evenly around the charcuterie board.
After the anchors, you should make the same types of cheese and meat grouped as it is more organized. You can alternate colors and shapes for more visual appeal. On the other hand, you can place fruit slices in different parts of the board just as long as the same fruits are in one position.
Afterward, you should prepare the utensils. Place forks, cheese knives, and other utensils on the side. Placing toothpicks on the food can also be a great idea, especially when serving dessert charcuterie.
Charcuterie boards are meant to be appetizers for guests. These can be paired with wine or other drinks. There are charcuterie board ideas online that use different sliced meats, cheese, fruits, and other elements. Now that you’ve learned how to make the perfect charcuterie board, you can serve an excellent platter to your guests when they visit you in your Camella home!