Entertain friends and family easily this summer with a fun charcuterie board. I’m teaching how to make an epic one in just seven simple steps!
Are you thinking to yourself right now, “What the what is a charcuterie board? And how the heck do I even say that word?!” This was me a couple of weeks ago. So I did some research.
Charcuterie is a branch of cooking involving prepared meats, such as ham, sausage, bacon, confit, or other pork products. The word originated in France, and it translates to “pork-butcher shop.” While the original French translation refers to pork, modern charcuterie boards can include other types of food, such as duck, goose, chicken, cheese, toast, fruit, or other options.
Now, how do you say it? The correct French pronunciation of charcuterie is “shahr-ku-tuh-ree”. So today you’re learning some French and how to easily entertain guests. How about that?! 😉
If you do some searching around about charcuterie boards, you can find some pretty elaborate and expensive spreads! But you know that’s not me. I’m all about making a cheese board that’s simple and affordable.
I promise you, the appearance of the board is what will WOW your guests. They’ll think you spent a ton of money and time on the spread – but in actuality, you didn’t. It’s ok, your secret will be safe with me. 😉
So now that we know what a charcuterie board is (and how to say it!), let’s go through the process of actually making one! Affiliate links may be used in this post for your convenience.
Plus an added bonus, I teamed up with some lovely bloggers that will be sharing more charcuterie board ideas to really get you inspired. More on that later…
How to Make An Epic Charcuterie Board
Gather the Supplies
So obviously to create a chacuterie board you need well….a board. I selected to use a slate board because I love the stone black backdrop! But any type of wood board would be just as great. The size of the board you use may depend on the amount of food you are serving up – so keep that in mind.
The next charcuterie board I make, I’m going to use my large round cheese board. Just think how fun that will be to style!
SHOP BOARDS AND ALL SUPPLIES:
It All Begins With Cheese
The first ingredient is of course, the cheese! My advice is to have a nice selection. Get a mixture of textures (soft, hard, crumbly), strengths, colors and shapes (for a visual interest).
You may have noticed on my board that I didn’t slice my cheeses. I think the wedges and rounds are just visually prettier and I saved myself some work. All you need to do is provide some cheese knifes and let your guests take as much or as little as they like!
A Touch of Salty
Time to add some different flavors and textures with the cheese. This is where those cold cuts come into play. Popular meats for a charcuterie board are prosciutto, salami, or sausage. For our board I used pepperoni and smoked turkey. (It was what I had on hand and our family loves!) For your vegetarian friends, nuts are always popular item to add.
I also include olives in the salty category as well. Our family LOVES black olives but stuffed olives can often be found on cheese boards too. You could even offer both!
Think Something Sweet
For sweet items, fruit is the answer! You can choose dried or fresh because either type will compliment a charcuterie board nicely. For our board, I used fresh blueberries and grapes. Tip: I would avoid fruit that oxidizes. So maybe skip the apples and pears.
Add Some Crunch
Now we have come to a really fun part of the board. There are so many different ways you can add some crunch. Crackers are a must here. You can pick any type and shape. Break sticks are fun too but my personal favorite crunch to add to a cheese board is crostini. Why? Because it pairs beautifully with one of the most delicious condiments coming up in the next step. 🙂
Do we have a good board already? Yes! But let’s make it better than good — let’s take it to the next level with some fabulous condiments!
Get Saucy with Condiments
There are so many great condiments to add to the board. My personal favorites are hummus, fancy mustard, jams and I saved the best for last — pesto! A crostini bread topped with a little pesto and some Asiago cheese is like the perfect combination to me. I could eat that all night!
Fill In And Garnish
Now, how do we take this charcuterie board from great to epic? It’s all in the details. Fill in those little empty spots on the board with some cherry tomatoes or even some more grapes. Then pretty it up just a tad bit more with some fresh garnish. Depending on the season or the theme of your board, pick from rosemary, basil, or maybe even some sage.
And just like that is how you create an epic charcuterie board in a flash! Simple to make, but so impressive!
I hope you will give a charcuterie board a try this summer when entertaining your guests. And if you do, I’d love to know how you liked it!
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And as promised, here are eight more charcuterie board ideas. Just click on any link below the image to get more details!