By Ellen Bell
Whether you are looking for a perfect treat for family gatherings, an accompaniment to show off at girls wine night, or a late-night snack, charcuterie boards are a go-to choice for every occasion!
I have to admit that the first time I attempted to make a charcuterie board, I was a nervous wreck. I spent hours at Ever’man looking through the cheeses, meats, crackers, fruits, and spreads, trying to make sure every flavor and texture was harmonious. However, the more time I spent making charcuterie boards, the easier the process became.
Spending lots of time researching websites and blogs helped me become less obsessed with my board being perfect and more focused on how to create an experience for myself and my guests that would allow everyone to get creative without breaking the bank.
Below are five simple steps to help you create your perfect charcuterie board.
1.) Big Guys Go First - I always start my boards by placing my most substantial items first, like cheeses. When selecting your cheeses it is smart to have at least three different kinds, and I usually choose from any of the following:
- A soft, creamy cheese, such a Goat Cheese, Brie, Mozzarella, or Camembert.
- A firm cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, or Manchego.
- An aged cheese, such as beautiful aged sharp Cheddar or Gruyere.
- A Blue Cheese, such as Gorgonzola or Roquefort.
As I select my cheeses, I like to call these your terrific trio because, ultimately, this will be the foundation of your board.
2.) Spreading The Love - On every board, you must have the key ingredients of meat and cheese. However, the real stars are the small bowls filled with spreads, dips, or olives. These additions will create yet another dimension to the flavor and color of your board.
3.) The Art of Meat - Although the charcuterie board has become a staple in many homes, most people don’t know what the French word “charcuterie” means. Put simply, charcuterie is the art of preparing and assembling cured meats and other meat products. You can include meats such as pepperoni, salami, ham, and my favorite: prosciutto.
4.) Fresh is Best - I don’t know about you, but the moment I think of cheese, fresh fruit also comes to mind. Not only is fruit a beautiful accompaniment to a sometimes mild cheese, but it is also a great way to add life to your board without breaking the bank. Even though I prefer fresh fruit, don’t be afraid to add dried fruit elements as well.
5.) Give it some Crunch. - Adding items such as nuts, crackers, or toasts allows you to create a contrast in textures as well as neutral flavors for yourself and your guests. Including smaller nuts is also a great way to fill any space that you may find on your board.
When it comes to making a charcuterie board, there is no right or wrong way. All you need to remember is to have fun with the process and don’t be too hard on yourself. Just follow these five simple steps, and you will be creating delicious charcuterie boards in no time!
Would you like to recreate this board in your home? Below is a list of all of the items you will need.
Tillamook: Smoked Medium Cheddar
Espresso BellaVitano: Espresso crusted Cheddar-Parmesan
Boursin: Garlic & Fine Herb
Montcherve - Blueberry Vanilla Goat Cheese
Mt. Vikos: Artichoke Spread
Divina: Buffalo Blue Olives
Bread, Crackers, & Crunch:
Ella’s Flats: Sesame
Simple Mills: Garlic & Herb
Ever’man Co-Op Mix (Bulk Section)
Fruits, Veg, & Garnish: