From dinner party to vineyard day with the ladies, a charcuterie board is an easy and fun way to impress the guests, no matter the occasion. These fun boards can feature all your favorites without being difficult to make or hard on the wallet. While the classic boards feature a mix of meats, cheeses, fruits, and nuts, there are plenty of ways to dress up your board and personalize it to your likes and your guests’ appetites.
Step 1: The Board
Grab your charcuterie board of choice and set it out on your workspace. If you do not already have a lovely board to put your toppings on, no worries because Style Shack has you covered. We have two incredible options in store to get you started. First we have the White Rectangle Charcuterie Board from Etuhome; this wooden board features a sleek and modern, white freshwater finish with reclaimed and organic timber strips. Our second option is the Square Link Serving Board from Etuhome; The Cococozy natural wood grain board features a cream finished chain link pattern on one side, and an organic grain on the other. This board was also featured in Oprah's Favorite Things 2021!
Step 2: Theme and Ingredients
Now it is time to decide what kind of a board you want to make. This is your chance to be fun and creative with your food! Boards can range from the classic meat, cheese, and breads to an all-desert spread. For this article, we are going to give some helpful tips to create a classic charcuterie board.
Depending on the size of the board you are using, and the amount of people you are feeding, between 3 and 5 cheeses make a great start to a board. It is also important to put in an array of ingredients to get the most out of this small, yet efficient space. A mix of soft and hard cheeses is recommended. Examples of soft cheeses would be Brie, Mozzarella, Boursin, Goat, and Camembert. While Gouda, Edam, and Gruyere are types of semi-firm cheeses, they make great additions to a charcuterie board. Examples of hard cheeses are Manchego, Pecorino, and Parmigiano. Blue cheeses can also make appearances on boards; however, these do tend to be the most disputed types of cheese preferentially.
Traditional charcuterie boards feature an assortment of cured meats. It is certainly acceptable to use more commonly found deli meats as well, but as a tip, ask your deli counter or butcher to cut them in thick slices for cubing purposes. Thinly pre-sliced Italian hams like Prosciutto and pancetta are always group favorites. Adding cured sausages, mortadella, pepperoni, or salami make the perfect salty pairing for certain fruits and cheeses.
From the Garden:
Not every charcuterie board needs to have fresh fruit or vegetables, but juicy grapes on the vine offer a burst of sweetness. For a summer board, fresh berries, melons, and stone fruits will be the best seasonal additions. For a board in colder months, citrus fruits and pomegranates will make great options.
Every great snack or charcuterie board needs something to hold up those amazing meat, cheese, and fruit pairings. A crusty baguette, cut into slices and toasted with olive oil and herbs, can make for a scrumptious and easy base for all those delicious combinations. An assortment of seeded crackers can be found in any grocery store and provide several options for guests to build their perfect bite.
While Smucker’s will always be a great option for your morning toast, something a bit more extravagant may pair better for fancier meats and cheeses. We would recommend a fig spread or a homemade preserve to up your charcuterie board game without sending your price range skyrocketing. In addition to the jams on the board, having a mix of nuts to snack on in between meat and cheese bites, can help to prolong the life of the board and your guests' experience.
Step 3: Building Your Board
When you have all your ingredients collected, it's time to have some fun. As children, we learned to not play with our food, but now is the time to throw that inhibition to the wind! You get to play around with all this food whilst making it elegantly spread out on your beautiful board. A great place to start would be to place your accouterments around the board in small dishes and bowls. Our Bianca small serving piece with 2 sections from Pampa Bay would offer you a way to maximize board space while doubling your fruit, jam, and nut options. Another fantastic serving piece to utilize on the board would be the small bowl from Guzzinni, available in white or grey.
Once your accouterments are placed, start to arrange your meats on opposite sides of the board, alternating cheese options in between. If you would like to add some additional pizazz to your board, or your theme calls for it, grab any household cookie cutter and create fun shapes with your cheese or meat slices. Next, grab your grapes on the vine, sliced stone fruits, and larger berries to sprinkle in color throughout the board. Where you find gaps in the board, get creative! Turn salami slices into a beautiful rose with this tutorial from Kansas Farm Bureau.
If you need inspiration, don’t fret! The Style Shack Pinterest has an entire board devoted to snack and charcuterie board ideas. You can also check out this amazing book, Beautiful Boards by The Baker Mama, listed on our website and in stores. With fifty incredible ideas and themes for snack boards, and the directions to execute the works of food art, the only challenge of it all will be deciding which one to make!
Step 4: Eat and Enjoy!
Written by Mia Drelich