How To Make a Perfect Charcuterie Board?
Learn how to make a charcuterie board your friends and family will absolutely love. Here is how to put together a charcuterie board to rule them all.
Charcuterie boards are a must in every party, reunion and casual get-together — there’s nothing like finger food, especially cured meat and cheese. Charcuterie boards carry the conversation forward, keep everyone’s hunger in check and give you an excuse to spend some time around the table with your loved ones.
There’s no doubt charcuterie boards are fun, but how to make a charcuterie board that checks all the right boxes? Charcuterie boards live within the realm of fusion cuisine, and food fusion is all about contrasting flavors and textures. With that in mind, here’s how to make a charcuterie board.
What is Charcuterie?
Charcuterie is a French term used to describe a wide range of foods, especially dry-cured and salt-cured meats like hams, sausages and others. Pâtés and jelly-like savory treats like terrines are charcuterie as well. It comes without saying; there are dozens, if not hundreds, of different foods in the charcuterie category.
Charcuterie results from finding ways to preserve food. Meat is perishable and has a short shelf-life. After curing, sausages and other dried meats can last for weeks and months. Being incredibly versatile, charcuterie soon found its way into fusion cuisines, as fusion food uses elements from different cultures to create something new and exciting.
Charcuterie is now the ultimate appetizer. In fact, if you learn how to make a charcuterie board correctly, you don’t even need to serve your guests any more food; you’ll have all you need for a long, satisfying evening amongst friends. Charcuterie is a wonderful meal in its own right!
Let’s now talk about how to put together a successful charcuterie board, one that has something for everyone — that’s the secret here, variety. Making a charcuterie board is easy if you know what you’re doing, so here are some tips for you.
What to Add to a Charcuterie Board?
Any successful charcuterie board makes the most out of fusion cuisine principles, mixing and matching different elements to create something entirely new.
You’ll definitely need some cured meat. Visit your local Deli and get your hands on craft bacon, smoked sausages, salami, cured ham and other meaty treats. The more the merrier.
Once you have the meat, think about contrasting foods to make the experience at the table much more fun! Cheese is a no-brainer, so get a few different types of cheese and dice them in bite-sized pieces. Olives, nuts and seeds are lovely add-ons as well, and so are dried fruits!
No charcuterie board is complete without artisan bread, so visit your local bakery and get a few loaves of sourdough, multigrain and white bread — make sure there’s something for everyone.
With the cured meat and sausages, the cheese, bread, nuts, seeds, olives and dried fruit, you’re ready for a party. There’s one more thing you must know before calling your friends over. Arranging the elements on a charcuterie board is as important as sourcing them, so let’s spend a minute talking about the proper way of assembling a charcuterie board.
How to Arrange a Charcuterie Board?
There’s no right or wrong way of arranging a charcuterie board, but there are a few tips to consider for the best results.
Work clockwise and arrange the different types of meat on a platter or wooden board. Think of the board as a whole, alternating textures, flavors and colors as you go. The secret behind arranging a charcuterie board is thinking about your guests — make sure everything is within reach!
Once you place the meat and cheese, use the olives, dried fruit and nuts to add contrast. Serve the bread warm and cut it into slices. And make sure you always have extra ingredients in the back, in case one item on the board is just too popular. Restock your charcuterie board as often as needed.
Another strategy for arranging charcuterie boards is taking a few pages from the Spanish cuisine playbook and placing all your elements on small plates tapas-style. Tapas are small plates with different things, including cured meats, olives, potatoes, sardines and others. Tapas are a fun way of presenting cured meats and other goodies, giving your dinner party a festive sense of abundance. Just remember, for charcuterie boards, the quality of the ingredients is paramount!
What Drink Goes With Charcuterie Boards?
Once you have a word-class charcuterie board, it’s time to complement it with the right drinks. Food and drinks are two sides of the same coin — you just can’t have one without the other.
What’s the best drink for charcuterie? That’s red wine, of course. The tannins in the wine cut through the fat in cured ham, cheese and sausages, making both the food and the wine taste better. And although red wine is a solid choice for your charcuterie party, you should also consider full-bodied white wine, like Chardonnay, and other tasty drinks like ales and cider.
The truth is, you need not be picky when choosing drinks for a dinner party; it’s the company that matters, and the atmosphere, of course. Put on some music, dim the lights, serve your charcuterie board and your favorite drinks. There’s no doubt your guests will have a wonderful time.
Yes, charcuterie might be as old as time, but it’s still trendy, and we’re talking about a delicious trend indeed! Enjoy your favorite cured meats, cheese and wine, but also the company of good friends. That’s what makes this type of get-together so special.
Forget About Store-Bought Charcuterie Boards!
Now that you know how to make a charcuterie board based on fusion cuisine principles, you can now forget about purchasing ready-made boards. After all, choosing every element thoughtfully is a fun way of sharing the result with your loved ones.
Enjoy charcuterie boards on every occasion. Make the tasty finger food part of your life, and you’ll become a better host. Charcuterie boards are convenient, attractive and versatile; there’s no better food for parties! Now, we’d love to know, how do you make your charcuterie boards? What makes a good charcuterie board for you?
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