The Secret To The Perfect Charcuterie Board + Bonus Tips!
Put the “cute” in CharCUTErie with a few tips for making the best platter of delicious foods. What is a charcuterie board and how do you even say charcuterie? It’s shahr-ku-tuh-ree by the way, and it’s a French word for “fancy platter of food.” Okay, so I made that part up, but that’s what it sort of means today. Translated from French it means "delicatessen.”
It’s actually the art of assembling a curated platter of meats and cheeses that are paired with nuts, crackers, fruit and perhaps dips, honey or sauces. It’s a French term for a branch of cooking devoted to prepared meats. Don’t let that complicated fancy definition fool you or intimidate you. In my opinion there’s only one secret to making the best charcuterie board ever!
But, let’s get to the bonus tips before I give you the ultimate secret!
Have a VARIETY: You can use a little bit of everything. Give it a theme or “go ham” (great idea! use real ham, too). The beauty of a charcuterie board is that it can be different every single time and totally customized to your tastebuds!
Mix it up - SWEET & SAVORY: You can make a sweet charcuterie board or a savory one! Or you can do both sweet and savory on the same platter. Things like chocolate and honey go very well with a savory board, and salted nuts and certain cheeses are great for a sweet board. (Savory ideas: variety of meats, cheese -- we prefer dairy free, dip, spreads, nuts, veggies, etc. Sweet ideas: honey, fresh berries, cookies, chocolate, chocolate covered nuts, etc.)
Use what you ALREADY have: Check out your leftover cut veggies, those extra berries you have and the 1/2 a package of salami in your fridge. You might have 3 different almost-empty boxes of crackers - use all of them for a fun variety. They are perfect for a charcuterie board. Add a spoonful of honey or a dip and sprinkle on a few chocolate chips or a leftover chocolate bar and BOOM! You used what you already have availabe in your kitchen.
FILL bare spots: You may have your platter ready to go, but there’s still a few bare spots that need some attention. Consider adding some chocolate, grapes or even small handfuls of nuts to fill in the empty spots.
Add CHOCOLATE: Yes! Adding chocolate is always a great idea when it comes to a perfect charcuterie board. Even if you only have one chocolate bar in the house, cut it or break it into small pieces for a fun texture, and add it to your masterpiece!
You don’t need an expensive PLATTER: I have seen some gorgeous wooden platters that would be so amazing to have and use (and love), but I really don’t need them and neither do you. You can use a cutting board, a large plate or even a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (see first photo above)! Don’t spend the big bucks — just use what you already have and no one will even pay attention to that because of all the gorgeous food you’ve plated.
THEME ideas: Make it all vegan or paleo or gluten free or Whole30! Make it red white and blue! Consider a Christmas theme or maybe a dessert platter. How about a Disney theme like my platter below? I made a few Mickey chocolates and turned it into a little bit of Disney magic — oh boy!
Okay, let me tell you the big secret. The big secret to making the perfect Charcuterie board is … there are no rules. You can do whatever you want and use whatever you have on hand.
Don’t worry! You’re doing it right. Just get a little inspiration from magazines, Pinterest and even Instagram. Remember, the tips above — and I promise it will turn out great. You can even spice up your date night by prepping a delicious charcuterie board together and then enjoying it by the fire, in the backyard, at the kitchen counter or maybe on the couch with a movie or some Disney+!