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How to Build the Perfect Cheese & Charcuterie Board


Nothing says stylish home, stylish host like a perfectly arranged charcuterie board filled with samplings of cheeses, meats, fruits, and other tasty morsels. They make it easy to impress guests and are even easier to put together. To create a charcuterie board for your next soiree, try these ingredients, or choose your own in similar categories. Offer a combination of textures and flavors to keep it interesting (slice meats in different thicknesses, offer crackers and soft breads). Remember to complement salty with creamy and sweet with sour or tangy. And have fun!

PRO TIP: When setting up your board, remember the saying “we eat with our eyes first.” Make it beautiful and inviting! Use little ramekins to hold pickled onions, olives, and nuts. Infuse color throughout with your fruits and spreads. Fill in spaces on the board with crackers, seeds, and edible flowers. Slice some of the meats and leave others for guests to slice. Cut cheeses into wedges, squares, and cubes. If your board looks full and overflowing with amazingly tantalizing goodies, you’ve done it right!

Meats: spicy and mild varieties; 2-4 kinds

  • Thinly sliced: prosciutto

  • Hard: salami

  • Creamy: pates

  • Spicy: sausages

  • Sliceable: galantines

Cheeses: hard and soft; mix milk types; 4-5 kinds, including at least one extremely bold typ

  • Soft: pecorino, Camembert, Gorgonzola

  • Firm: Gouda, Gruyere, edam, halloumi

  • Hard: manchego, Parmigiano, Romano, Emmenthal

  • Sharp: cheddar, blue, Asiago

  • Intense: Stilton, schloss, Roquefort

  • Mild: Jarlsberg, Havarti, Muenster

  • Spreadable: mascarpone, chevre, and sheep and goat’s milk cheeses

Breads/crackers: mix textures and grains; 2-3 types

  • Sliced baguette

  • Wheat crackers

  • Rice crackers

  • Flavored bread sticks

  • Rye or pumpernickel rounds

Fruits: sliced into easily manageable bites; include tart and sweet; 3 or more

  • Figs

  • Apples

  • Pears

  • Grapes

  • Berries

  • Dried fruits

Spreads: 2-4

  • Fruit jams

  • Mustards

  • Hummus

  • Tapenade

  • Honey

Extras:

  • Nuts

  • Edible flowers

  • Olives

  • Roasted chickpeas

  • Dark chocolate

  • Olive oil

  • Sea salt

  • Seeds