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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Paxson

Curating a Charcuterie Board

Whether your hosting friends or romancing someone, a charcuterie board is an easy and classy dish to throw together to impress your company.

So really a charcuterie board can be anything you want, but I am listing classic elements you can include and what my go to is. Luckily, Trader Joe's makes it easy for me by labeling what pairs well together.

  • Cheese: You’ll want some type of contrast. Either texture (soft/hard) or taste (mild/sharp/smoked). Brie (if you’re feeling yourself), cheddar, goat cheese, havarti, mozzarella, gouda.

  • Meat: Similar to cheeses you can do a variety of meats. They break down into the following categories: cured, cooked, and smoked.

    • Cured: salami, prosciutto, sopressata

    • Cooked: pâté, mousses, rilletes

    • Smoked: sausage, ham

  • Carbs: I like to get a variety pack of crackers or indulge in a french baguette. Bonus points if you toast it. You can use crackers, bread, crostini, pita chips, or a whole mix!

  • Fruit: Either fresh or dried. GRAPES, apple slices, and dried apricot or figs usually pair well.

  • Veggies: Raw or pickled veggies work with a charcuterie board. Depending on your spreads they can serve as an alternative to carbs.

  • Olives: I’m not an olive lady so I have no advice on what to get besides what your heart and stomach desire.

  • Nuts: Almonds, cashews, trail mix

  • Spreads: You can serve charcuterie with a chutney, jam, and/or mustard.


  • Arrange thoughtfully! You don't want the spreads or the cheeses to taste like each other. Leave enough space. Put elements that pair well together near each other.

  • For soft things like cheese and spreads, make sure they have their own serving utensil.

  • Toothpicks make it easy for people to pick up what they want without worrying about cross contamination

My usual platter: salami, honey chevre (goat cheese), a mild cheese, cracker variety, grapes, red pepper spread from Trader Joe's, dolma from a can

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