If you have a social media presence, odds are, you’ve seen a charcuterie board grace your feed. Consisting of sliced cured meats, cheeses, and other snack items, like nuts and fruit, the charcuterie board has recently become a popular item to show off on photo-sharing apps like Instagram, thanks to its assortment of delicious and visually stimulating ingredients.
Despite its extravagant look, it’s quite easy to make a charcuterie board at home. Here are 4 tips to follow, if you want to try your hand at charcuterie arrangements that look as good as they taste.
Stock up on three to five meats.
Variety is the spice of life – and also your charcuterie board. When shopping for your board, pick out three to five different types of meats. For the biggest sensory pay-off, you’ll want each meat to have different textures, colors, and flavors. For example, you could try a selection of spicy coppa, buttery prosciutto, a salty dry-cured sausage like finochietta, and beefy bresaola. Don’t forget to have each one thinly sliced by the person behind the counter, which will make eating with your fingers much easier.
Choose your cheeses.
Much like your meats, you’ll want several kinds of cheese to add body to your charcuterie board. There’s no wrong way to pair your meats and cheeses, so purchase what you like! However, you should know that certain cheeses fit certain flavor profiles. If you want soft and creamy cheese, try brie, burrata, or fresh mozzarella. Aged cheeses include gouda, sharp cheddar, and gruyere, while goat and feta cheeses crumble perfectly. Other excellent choices include blue cheese, smoked provolone, and manchego.
Pick delicious accompaniments.
Accompaniments allow you to add creativity to your charcuterie board while enhancing its visual appeal – so, don’t skip over them when you’re at the grocery store! Start with bread and/or crackers, which are a natural fit for any board. Then, add nuts, dried or fresh fruit, olives, pickles, and/or pepper jellies, all of which are several popular options. Finally, you can also incorporate sauces into your board, like mustard, honey, tapenade, or pesto.
Compose your charcuterie.
Now, it’s time to consider how you’ll spread it out when serving. Choose a large, flat base, such as a wooden or slate board, a party platter, or a large plate. Small bowls are also helpful for holding sauces and accompaniments. When arranging, put the bowls off-center, with the meats, cheese, and other items around them. Consider gathering sliced meat into bundles, fanning out small slices of cheeses, or folding salami into quarters. All of these suggestions will lend your board a social media-ready look.
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