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