Create a Beautiful Charcuterie Board

June 15, 2023

by The Big Cheese

How to Create a Beautiful and Tasty Charcuterie Board

The charcuterie board trend is going strong and it shows no signs of stopping any time soon.

The best part of a charcuterie board is that it has a little bit of everything: salt, acid, sweet, creamy, tangy … the list goes on and you get to curate all your faves. There’s something for everyone. We highly suggest heading to your local mom and pop market or butcher and see what looks delicious – and what the owners recommend! It’s a great way to get to know kinds of meat and other deli products you may want to feature on your board. And of course, for your cheese selection, we highly recommend The Big Cheese aged cheddar!

You want your board can be as unique as you are so take the time to think through all you want to include and how well it will work together. (And so you can show off a little know-how and taste for your guests) Whether it’s a substantial appetizer or a whole meal, keep reading to learn how to build the perfect charcuterie board.

The Best Meats

We love a little something salty. Charcuterie boards traditionally have some kind of dry-cured meat on them, which means they’re safely preserved for consumption later. And they’re DELICIOUS. You could go for some thinly-sliced dry-cured pork like prosciutto or capicola for a fatty, salty protein option. Salami is another incredibly versatile meat with just about any combination of herbs and spices (and heat!) that you can dream of. The meat you choose should be served in slices so guests can quickly grab what they need. If you go for something unsliced, make sure it’s easy to cut and provide a sharp knife.

The Best Cheeses

Obvs, you need the best cheese you can find … and that’s The Big Cheese! You know our deliciously sharp, aged cheddar cheese pairs perfectly with just about anything. It is right at home on any charcuterie board you can put together. And that includes other cheeses! We like to pick something soft to go with our cheddar, like Camembert, burrata, goat cheese, or brie. Something delightful to spread on a cracker with a drizzle of honey. And speaking of spreading on a cracker…don’t forget about our three cheese spreads as an option!

The Best Sweets

You might think that adding something sweet to an overall savory board sounds a little weird, but trust us: it’s exactly the right touch. A hint of sugar brings out the fatty, salty, creamy, umami goodness of every other option on the board. A true classic is honey – and hot honey is increasingly popular for that little extra kick! Fig jam (or anything you love, really). Dried fruit like cranberries, figs, apricots, apples and pears add texture and flavor. Grapes are a tried-and-true perfect option for a kick of sweetness, and they taste divine with cheese!

The Best Everything Else

A great charcuterie board has a wide variety of textures. A couple of different kinds of crackers, some crusty bread, toasted pita, and crostini are fantastic cheese delivery vehicles – um, we mean perfect for stacking and spreading! Pickles and other snacks with brine-y goodness are a nearly universal hit. May we suggest a bowl of cheese popcorn or our delectable aged cheddar cheese spread? You can really go crazy here: your favorite nuts and seeds, mustard, hummus, tzatziki, chutneys, tapenades, pepper jelly – the world is your oyster! We also love fresh veggies for a splash of color, zesty crunch, and to balance out the heavier cheeses, carbs, and meats.

How to Prepare Your Charcuterie Board

First, of course: pick your board! Your board will be just as delicious if it’s a bespoke, hand-stained wooden board from a local artisan or something from Target. You can also choose to use several smaller boards or a tiered serving tray. It’s really up to you and the vibe you wish to create.

When it comes to arranging your board, start with a little structure. If it’s your first time, we suggest doing a little planning before you start loading snacks on. Maybe that means drawing a little layout (we love a cheese architect) or just giving it a bit of a ponder. Start with what goes in your serving bowls, and go from there. Speaking of which: an eclectic look is great! Your serving bowls, dishes, and jars don’t have to match. Hang on to that cute pot from your fancy yogurt or go nuts at the thrift store – this is a wonderful way to add character to your board. As long as everything is clean and easy to use, you can’t go wrong. This is a great time to whip out Grandma’s prettiest silverware for spreading those delicious dips and soft cheeses.

Now it’s time to arrange the goodies around your jars and bowls. Start with meat (if you’re serving it) in one quadrant and go from there. The internet is full of inspirational images cute little salami roses and of course, that will add a fun flair to your board! But isn’t strictly required for a beautiful board. Arrange slices thoughtfully and it’ll look fantastic. Next comes the cheese. Here, you’ll want to arrange the sliced (or unsliced) cheese next to the meat you want to encourage your guests to pair.

Fill all those blank spaces with every extra you can think of. Really get extra with it. You can arrange these items like the cheese, close by the other things you’d like your guests to try – or you can leave it up to fate and your guests’ curious and creative taste buds!

Have fun – seriously.

You really can’t go wrong when you put a bunch of delicious food on a board and tell your friends and fam to dig in. (Especially when you add The Big Cheese to the party.)


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