If there is something I can’t say no to, it’s a good charcuterie board. Say it with me “shahr-coo-tuh-ree”. It even sounds divine! Yes, I might be a bit hungry while writing this but I’m sure that I’m not the only one that’s oh-so-obsessed with these stunning boards of beautifully assembled foods.
Making a charcuterie board is an art of itself. The name “charcuterie” refers to a selection of cold meats but charcuterie boards can also include a variety of other accompaniments, including cheeses, olives and nuts, crackers, spreads and much more. If I’m hosting a dinner party, I’m making a full-on charcuterie board – I love surprising my guests with these and I’m sure your guests will love them too!
If you’ve always wanted to try and make your own board but thought that these were too much hassle, think again. Today, with the help of Springvale Foods, wholesale fine foods, we are going to share some tips and tricks on how to make the perfect charcuterie board. Springvale Foods are a family-run business that specialise in sourcing artisan foods from national and international brands, and stock almost everything you need to create the most wonderful charcuterie board.
What are the best charcuterie board accompaniments?
Variety is key for a charcuterie board. You want to make sure your board has different flavours, textures and colours. Plus, it’s essential to ensure that there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Meats or meat alternatives.
As this article on Homemade Simple mentions, when it comes to picking protein, you’ll want to make sure your board has something whole, such as prosciutto; something smooth, including pates and rillettes; something cured, such as salami and chorizo; and something dry, including bacon and pancetta to add a smoky flavour.
If you are not a meat eater, Springvale Foods has a variety of delicious vegan pates, including Rendles Vegan Pate With Sun Dried Tomatoes and Rendles Vegan Pate With Grilled Eggplants, Zucchini, Grilled Peppers. Other vegetarian and vegan alternatives to meat can also be used.
Should you go for a soft cheese? Should you pick a hard cheese? Would blue cheese be too bold for a dinner party charcuterie board? As Savoring Today explains, “Cheese brings smooth, creamy textures and rich flavors to complement spicy, savory meats.” I know there are a lot of cheeses to choose from, so picking the right one might seem like a daunting task but you should approach your cheese choices the same way you choose the meat – go for a variety. You could go for one aged cheese, one soft cheese, one firm cheese and a more bold choice, such as blue cheese.
Fruits and/or veggies.
Adding fruit and veggies to your charcuterie board will definitely be the perfect element to balance the other flavours. Go for couple of sweet flavours, such as grapes and apples, as well as savoury treats, such as carrots and peppers. As Better Homes & Gardens mentions, “Fruits and veggies add color and freshness to a charcuterie or meat and cheese board. They’re also a tasty contrast to rich, salty meats and cheeses.”
Crackers and/or bread.
Crackers, bread, break sticks, pretzels – anything a bit more starchy will be a must to pair with your selection of cheeses and spreads. Go for different textures, flavours and sizes. Don’t forget to have some gluten-free options for any guests who are allergic to gluten.
Jams, chutneys, tapenades, hummus, preserves… you name it! It can all be added to a charcuterie board. My top spreads are caramelised onion chutney, olive tapenade and hummus. I believe that you can’t go wrong with these spreads as these go well with such a variety of flavours. However, it comes down to personal preference, so pick your favourite spreads and add them to your board.
Olives and nuts.
Olives, nuts and even dry fruit are great additions to any board. These finger foods, such as walnuts, pistachios, apricots, raisins and capers, are fantastic to complete your charcuterie board.
How to assemble a charcuterie board?
An easy way to assemble a simple yet stunning charcuterie board is to start by arranging tiny bowls with the small or wet ingredients on top of the board. Next, add the spreads and then, fill the empty spaces with the remaining ingredients. Valentina’s Corner recommends arranging the ingredients “so the colours are evenly balanced as are the cheeses, crackers and everything else.”