Hosting friends or enjoying couples time at home used to mean making great appetizers. Now everyone looks forward to a grazing board. It usually includes a few snack items to keep everyone happy between meals, but the home entertaining trend takes charcuterie a step further.
Charcuterie boards look great in pictures and create a focal point for your entertaining space. How should you start making one? Use these tips to create a fancy charcuterie board that overflows with luxury and tasty food.
Find a Fancy Board
Even though your selected charcuterie goods will cover the board, it sets the tone for your snacking. Instead of using a wooden cutting board or a fancy plate, find a board designed for charcuterie parties. You might love a tiered look or use a board handcrafted into a holiday theme. The right serving board will set the tone for your grazing and add elegance to your snacking.
Choose Specialty Meats
Anyone can roll up some deli meat, but you’ll take your charcuterie board a step further by choosing specialty meats. Read about meats like whole-muscle cuts and terrine before picking a little bit of everything to add variety. If you’re serving picky eaters, stick with meats like smoked country ham and cured smoky chorizo to level up your food game without venturing too far from what they love.
Select Cheese Wisely
Cheese is another major component of any charcuterie board. Luxury grazing boards include three different cheeses at a minimum. Slice them into cubes, flat squares or make them soft enough for spreading onto the crackers or bread on your board.
Make sure they don’t distract from the other flavors you’ll include. Brie has a soft texture that pairs perfectly with sweet jams, while Havarti adds a complimentary tang to fruits and veggies.
Cubed, sliced, soft for spreading
Get Creative With Fruits
Fruit adds color and character to charcuterie parties, so get creative with your choices. You might style your other snacks around a professional fruit arrangement or place small bowls of dried, chewy fruits next to crunchy almonds. Find whatever’s in season to score a great sale and serve the freshest variety to your guests or significant other.
Pair Your Drinks
There’s one more thing to remember about prepping a charcuterie board after finalizing your grocery list. You also have to pair your food with wine or other types of alcohol, which could make or break the tasting experience. Cured meats complement the taste of dry red wine but would clash with Chardonnay. A sweet vermouth cocktail will cut through fatty meats and cheeses, enhancing your taste palate.
Read about critical details like the earthy notes and acidic natures of each wine you consider before buying the best choices for the food you’ve already picked.
Make a List
The modern home entertaining trend takes charcuterie a step further than traditional appetizers. Anyone can make a vivid, delicious display of snacks when they use these tips to get started. Make a list of the meats, cheeses and various foods you’d like to include and match them with compatible drinks. You’ll end up with a beautiful display for everyone to gather around while they catch up before the main meal.