Charcuterie boards are mostly about creativity. What flavors do you like? Are you going for a specific theme? Sweet, savory, crunchy and chewy are four pillars to build off of, but your assortment could include anything from jams, nuts, fruits, veggies, cured meats, fish, and cheese of course. Some folks add fun touches like candy. Dessert charcuterie even exists! But if looking for building blocks to craft a traditional board, we’ve line up some options that will help accomplish that.
A Good Cheese Board and Knife Set
A beautiful wooden board is the foundation for charcuterie, and it’s something that will be used for possibly generations. Made with organic bamboo, this set has all the serving utensils, and a thoughtful groove around the edges for crackers (it prevents spillage too).
Nuts are the perfect intro to a board. They are what folks will start snacking on first most likely, along with olives and pickles. Wow them from the very first bite, by selecting something not too overwhelming, but noteworthy. Thrive Market’s tamari almonds have just enough zing, while still holding true to simple roasted flavor.
A fun veggie choice
Interesting veggies are always a good idea. Use a few packs of these savory marinated artichokes to give things a slight twist. Almost having a smokey flavor, robust herbs such as basil bring a diversity of flavors to the table. The olive oil adds to the richness.
Pickles for a little tang
Thrive Market has the best pickles, which are organic and complex in flavor, depending on your selection. You could go with something simpler, with a tangy flavor and a hint of dill. However these bread and butter pickles are enhanced with onion, peppers and celery seed, which all bring a nice taste change up between other board bites.
Dried fruits add the much needed chewy sensation essential to any charcuterie creation. Here, use your creativity. Maybe you’ll want a mini rainbow of dried kiwi, pineapple and cranberries. Or you could go with a favorite goat cheese “bestie”, the Medjdool date—these are pitted and ready to enjoy.
Fresh fruit adds color, and lower sugar sweetness than jams and dried fruits. It’s best to work with what’s in season, as the flavors and appearance will be at their best. Maybe it’s peach season—try grilling pitted halves, then slice thinly to serve. This would go well with goat cheese and a simple cracker.
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Blue cheese seamlessly works off the sweetness and flavors of any fruit selections. Crumble in a corner and snuggle sliced apples or fresh figs along side. Consider brushing local honey close by, as blue cheese by itself is unbelievably delicious when coated with the raw sweetness.
Honey (Plus a honeycomb for display)
Speaking of honey, the natural syrupy substance can be your focal sweetness on the entire board. A beautiful way to present your honey could be by placing a chunk of the honeycomb itself on the display. Visually interesting, guests will enjoy chewing on pieces of real comb. Raw Acacia honey from Crate and Barrel is practically made for the occasion.
A soft cheese, specifically Brie
Brie cheese is encapsulated in a bold, unique mold that houses a buttery, soft interior. The options are abundant when choosing to incorporate it as one of the cheese choices. Bake it in the oven, and top with an artisan jam and nuts for a sweet and savory cracker topping, or just let it reach room temperature, and pair with meats.
Salami - find one with fun flavor combinations
A traditionally prepared salami with all natural ingredients—it’s a must. Fennel and chili flakes give this authentic meat a refreshing and slightly spicy flavor. It looks gorgeous when roughly cut into cracker sized slices.
Prosciutto & Mozzarella Panino
Fiorucci Paninos combine the meat and cheese for you, in delicate little rolls. Salty prosciutto and mellow mozzarella are a common sense combo, and the balance between the two is perfection. Fiorucci offers a wide selection of authentic Italian foods that can enhance your board. But the convenience, taste and aesthetic appeal of the paninos will likely become a staple on future charcuterie boards.
A fish option
Fish is a lighter, sometimes preferred addition to a spread, and jerky deliveres all the goodness, with zero work. While a ton of fish does not come in one pack, it’s enough to sprinkle on a crisp baguette smeared with cream cheese and fresh chives.
Good wine (Trust us on this one)
Yes, Game of Thrones wine exists. And what better occasion to pop open a bottle than when enjoying a spread fit for a king? Wine on Sale offers bundles of the TV show themed wine, or single selections. Pinot Noir is generally an excellent selection to pair with charcuterie meats, as it’s not overwhelming, while having subtle notes of currants and oak. It compliments well and can be a good “go to”.
Sprouted Seed Crackers
Never overlook the value of a good cracker. When you’ve selected the right one, it will be versatile and easily paired with most selections on your board. Simple Mills makes wholesome crackers with a seed base, and cassava flour. Subtle notes of rosemary in the original variation are just what is needed for a well rounded taste. Bonus—they are gluten free.
The "wow" factor
Every board needs something unexpected, to really make it modern and exciting. Enter the charcuterie crisp! Crunchy like a cracker, but with the flavor of Spanish chorizo, these fun snacky treats are the perfect touch. Consider them the “sprinkles” on your charcuterie “cake”.