How to Assemble the Perfect Charcuterie Board
The beauty of a charcuterie board is that you can truly make it your own. Simple and versatile, a good platter will please novices and foodies alike. Even those who aren’t quite well versed in the art of cooking can master this meal—it’s more assembly than cookery!
Putting together the perfect charcuterie board requires a little more thought than simply throwing a few ingredients on a plate. The main rule you should follow is balance. Mix textures and flavours—if you choose something savoury and crunchy, make sure to contrast it with something creamy and sweet.
There are so many local artisans producing amazing cheeses, cured meats and other delicious tidbits nowadays. If you can, support your community by seeking out something truly original and close to home!
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Your charcuterie board
For an aesthetically pleasing—and delicious—platter, the key is to match your number of ingredients in each category. If you’ve chosen three types of cured meats, you should have at least three cheeses. Of course, if you like one thing more than another, you’re more than welcome to differ from the norm!
As for the meats to assemble on your charcuterie board, prosciutto and bresaola are salty options that pair beautifully with cheeses whilst a salami can add a nice little kick of spiciness. If you choose cured sausages or salami, make sure to chop them into bite-sized pieces before assembling your board for a seamless experience.
Pate or rillette are also great additions to your platter. They add a smooth texture and are easily spread on bread or cracker. Nowadays, you can find vegan pates in most specialty shops or grocery stores.
Some people say that you need a soft cheese, a firm one, a blue cheese and an aged option. However, the most important thing is to only choose cheeses you actually like—this goes for every aspect of your board! If you don’t like it, don’t serve it.
There is such a large variety of cheeses out there that narrowing it down to just a few can be quite the task! Try combining different textures cream, crumbly, soft, firm, smoked and aged. Smoked Gouda, brie, goat cheese and Gruyere are all crowd-pleasing favourites, but don’t be afraid to try some different local options!
Each cheese should have its own knife as to not mix flavours. However, for the harder ones, do cut them ahead of time to prevent board accidents—nobody wants to see ingredients go flying.
For an aesthetically pleasing charcuterie board, go with an odd number of cheeses.
You can be a bit more creative here—almost anything goes! This is the perfect place to add some colour to your charcuterie board. Meat and cheese can be quite rich and salty—pickled or marinated vegetables are the perfect thing to cleanse the palate.
Spreads are great to add different flavours to your platter. For a touch of sweetness, jams work quite well—fig jam and brie are lovely together. As for savoury options, pesto, mustards, relishes pair extremely well with cured meats.
Fresh fruits add colour and easily fill empty spots on your charcuterie board. Opt for seasonal options that are at their freshest.
Make it vegan
You don’t have to include meats and cheeses to create a delicious charcuterie platter. Mix and match accompaniments, add more spreads and dips, include a variety of nuts, pickles and fresh or dried fruits. And, of course, don’t forget to put together an assortment of hummus.
Plenty of amazing companies have come out with vegan alternatives to plenty of cheeses and meats—like salami and pates—give them a try!
This is the easiest part: keep it simple. You are looking for a vessel for the flavours of your spreads and cheeses. Opt for a neutral taste, but amazing texture and try to have a few options. Regular crackers, dried-fruit-studded crisps and different types of bread all do the trick. Sliced baguettes dipped in olive oil and broiled are absolutely delicious when combined with spreads or creamy cheeses.
What is a charcuterie board without a flawless presentation? Sure, it’s still a plethora of delightful bites, but it just feels oh-so-nice when it’s also pretty on the eyes. Find your favourite board or an assortment of plates. However, if you’d like to skip the dishes, simply assemble your platter on parchment paper wherever you’re planning on enjoying the fruits of your labour.
You can easily do all the preparation ahead of time and pop your creation in the refrigerator. As cheese is best served at room temperature, make sure to take your platter out approximately thirty minutes before you plan on eating.
And finally, enjoy.
To make the culinary journey last just a while longer, gift a delightful gastronomic experience created by our chef and punctuated by local fare to your epicurean loved ones this holiday season.
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