You are most likely probably familiar with a charcuterie board now. They seem to have become the newest thing over the past few years and honestly I’m not mad about it. If anyone is having a charcuterie board and some wine count me in. That is easily probably one of our favorites for a little at home date night. If you are not familiar with a charcuterie board it typically is essentially meat, cheese, and crackers on a board. They are typically also paired with different spreads, olives, fruits, nuts, and more as well. Some people have even started making dessert charcuterie board and seasonally themed boards for different holidays. I haven’t tried that yet, but I’m not against it. That might be something to try out for Christmas. For now I’m going to break down how I easily make a more traditional board at home by breaking it down into 6 categories.
The 6 categories are spreads, meat, cheese, crackers, fruit, and nuts. I like to think of the 6 categories in that exact order too. That’s how I build my boards. I start by spacing out the spreads because those will be in small bowls or jars. Next, I space out the meats and then the cheeses. Then, I add on the crackers. Lastly, I fill in the spaces throughout with fruit and nuts. The great thing about charcuterie boards, especially when you make them yourself, is you can put whatever you like on it. If you are dairy-free you can skip the cheese or if you are vegetarian you can skip the meat. For example, a lot of my boards don’t have cheese on them because I’m dairy-free. Below are some examples of some different items in each category you could include on your board.
Just about any spread that you would put on a cracker is perfect to put on a charcuterie board. Spreads like jams, marmalades, hummus, or honey are delicious. I included a few of my favorites that we put on some of our boards to give some ideas below.
- Strawberry Jam
- Orange marmalade
- Olive tapenade
- Fig Butter
- Raspberry Jam
- Olive oil and herbs
- Balsamic glaze
A charcuterie board can really have just about any kind of deli meat on it. I listed of few of our favorites for charcuterie boards below. Really anything will work though. I know some people keep it really simple by just sticking to the basics of some deli turkey or ham. That could also be a great idea if you are making it for a weekend at home and you have kids. Try including some basics that they might like and typically eat too. Here are some suggestions for some other meats to include on your board too.
You can put just about any cheese you like on a charcuterie board. I like to typically do 2 different types of cheeses on a board if I’m making it for other people. Typically I do one that is creamy, so it will spread easily such as a goat cheese. The other cheese is usually something like a cheddar cheese. Any cheese you like will totally work though. If you are making it for a group or want to mix things up adding variety with one sweet and one savory is also a great idea. For example I might do one cheese with blueberries or fruit in it and then a savory cheese.
Any crackers, bite size pieces of bread, small toast crackers will work. Some crackers with different flavors or herbs make a great addition to charcuterie boards, such as sesame crackers, everything crackers, or herb crackers. Crackers or crisps with things like cranberries or figs are also perfect for a charcuterie board.
The great thing about charcuterie boards, if you haven’t noticed yet, is that you can literally put whatever you want on them. This still holds true for the fruit too. You can put just about any fruit that you enjoy onto your charcuterie board. Having some different colored fruits is a great way to pull some color into your charcuterie board especially if you are serving it for guests or an event. It could also be a fun way to incorporate a color scheme if you were making a board for a football game, baby shower, or even a graduation. Consider trying to use the teams colors or color scheme of the party. Below are some fruits that we have used to make charcuterie boards to give you some ideas.
- Dried mango
- Dried apricots
Almost any type of nut that you like would work great on a charcuterie board. Some of my favorites are rosemary almonds, candied pecans, or peanuts. We typically shop at Trader Joes for charcuterie board items and they have a pretty good selection of different nuts to add to your board.
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