Rules to follow for the perfect Charcuterie Board
Updated: Sep 23, 2019
Charcuterie boards are all the rage right now. There are tons of pictures of boards all over the internet that look beautiful. But figuring out which cheese are actually on the board can be tricky. I love a good board more than anyone, I grew up with a mother that was awesome at picking yummy cheeses. But I had no idea that there were specific industry tricks to not only make your board look beautiful, but there are also tricks to make it easier for your guests to munch on.
No one wants a board that looks beautiful but is hard to eat. You want to be able to accurately put a board together that is both "insta worthy" and completely destroyed once your guests get their hands on it. No board should be left with cheese on it. Below I am going to list some key ways to make sure that you create a beautifully delicious charcuterie board!
These are the rules that I live by for the best cheese boards.
1. Everything should be easily accessible. Hard cheeses should always be on the outside of the board. Soft cheeses towards the middle.
There is literally nothing worse than having to reach into the middle of the board and having to dig through a piece of hard aged gouda. You'll end up leaning over the whole board and blocking others from getting to their favorite cheese. The hard, aged cheese should always be on the out side of the board no matter what. Soft, quick, easily spreadable cheeses can go in the middle of the board. That way people don't spend so much time leaning over the board trying to get the one tough cheese in the middle.
2. Something Hard, Something Soft & Something BLUE.
You can not stick to just Soft cheese or just hard cheeses. I can not stress enough that you will need both hard and soft cheese. It provides variety on your board. You may only like soft cheese but you may have a guest that only likes hard aged cheeses. The good thing about this rule is that it kills two birds with one stone. Most soft cheese are not aged as long as hard cheese. Cheese that are aged less are automatically more mild in their flavor profile. Hard cheeses, that are aged longer, have had their flavor profile developed longer over time. Which means they are going to be much stronger. Not all guests are going to like mild and not all guests are going to like strong. A persons cheese preference is based largely on TEXTURE and FLAVOR. Both are extremely important to consider when putting something together for guests. I know my BLUE CHEESE rule is going to be hard for some people to follow. You either love blue cheese or you hate it. But it is truly one of the rare cheeses that pairs so well with so many things! Plus it is absolutely beautiful and adds unique color to boards. It always stands out and makes boards elegant!
3. Meats should stand out!
Nothing bothers me more than when people just take flat, sad piece of salami out of a processed package and throw it on a board! It is so weak that it gets hidden under the cheese and garnish! Everything should stand out! My favorite way to make Salami stand out is folding it in half and stacking it in my hand like playing cards. If you fold it in this way and stack the folds on top of each other you create a flush of salami that stands out on a board. I also Like to fold the salami in half, and then fold it again to be in almost a triangle shape. Below I have Images showing the way you can fold salami and place it together in order to add volume. I have also added some pictures that show was to roll and fluff prosciutto or other hams. The main idea is just to put a little effort into your meats!
4. Something Sweet & Something Spicy.
By now, you should be noticing a strong variety theme here! The way that I usually accomplish this rule is by having a spicy meat and a sweet jam. If you followed my "Something Hard, Something Soft Rule", then you should have a creamy mild cheese picked out for your board. A variety of Jams will pair beautifully with that creamy cheese. I like to plan my jams according to the season. For example at the beginning of fall I may use a fig or apple jam. But in the Winter I may use a pomegranate jam. For Spicy salamis I usually like to go with a Calabrese salami or a Hot Capicolla ham.
5. Garnish! Garnish! Garnish!
Always have fresh, bright, and colorful Garnish! It should never be just meats and Cheeses. My favorite thing to do is add fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme. But I also love edible flowers. Fresh and dried fruit really take it to the next level. As you can see, in some of my cheese boards below, there are fun ways to slice apples and pears to have on boards. Dried oranges and lemons add phenomenal fragrance and color.
I hope that you all enjoyed this post! Tag @averysappetite on Instagram so that I can see/share all of your cheese board creations!