Charcuterie boards have been around since the 15th century in France but have recently grown in popularity over the last few years. These boards are impressively beautiful and contain a range of indulgent flavors that make them perfect for parties. Many people new to charcuterie wonder if the board is necessary. Does a charcuterie board have to be on a board? The answer to this question is a resounding no.
What Is a Charcuterie Board?
Charcuterie boards feature a delicious blend of cheeses, meats, and sometimes other food selections, including fruits, nuts, and chocolates. Charcuterie boards are appetizers, and guests serve themselves directly from the board or portion it onto flatware. If you are going to serve the charcuterie board correctly, you must have melamine serveware.
What Can You Serve Charcuterie On?
While charcuterie is usually presented on a wooden board or a slate, you do not have to feel stuck in your serving options. In reality, charcuterie can be served on any flat surface. The food should be the star of the show, not the board it's placed on for display.
Ideas for serving charcuterie include:
- Beautiful mirror
- Slab of marble
- Stainless steel tray
No matter where you serve charcuterie, make sure the flat surface is clean and sanitized. When in doubt, cover the surface with food-safe plastic or foil. Never serve charcuterie on an area that is unclean.
Do Not Forget the Bowls
Although everyone knows they need a flat surface for serving charcuterie, you cannot forget the small bowls. You are going to need bowls for serving things like olives, nuts, cheese knives, and other tools. Make sure to include beautiful bowls that match the decor and theme of the party.
Presentation Is Everything
It does not really matter what you put your charcuterie on to serve. What matters more is the presentation. How you arrange the meats, cheeses, and other goodies is what is going to impress guests.
To create visual interest, you are going to have to get creative. Hosts also need to ensure they are using the very best meats and cheeses for their boards. You want to impress with appearance and keep them excited about the taste.
Tips for Designing a Charcuterie Board
Some people get quite elaborate with their designs, making salami roses and moons from pieces of cheese. You can keep things as simple or dramatic as you like, but do not forget to have fun.
The following tips should make designing a charcuterie board much easier:
- Pick a focal point for the board and work from there. Place a large piece in this spot to grab the eyes.
- Place alternating meats and cheese on the board, working clockwise. Choose a design that works for you.
- Use the accompaniments, such as crackers and pretzels, to fill in gaps. The board should be brimming with tasty possibilities.
- Make sure the center contains the bulk of the meats and cheeses. Try to include offerings that will appeal to just about any taste.
- Do not be afraid to move items around until you are happy with the presentation. View the charcuterie board from all angles to get a good idea of how it will be perceived by guests.
You do not have to create perfection. Charcuterie, although impressive, is all about having fun. These boards bring people together and foster communication as everyone reaches for their next delicious morsel.
Food Ideas for Charcuterie Boards
The sky is the limit when selecting foods for charcuterie boards. Below should give you some ideas to get started. Remember to choose the finest offerings. People will remember the tastes long after they forget the presentation.
- Select a range of hard and soft cheeses. Cream cheese with pepper jelly is always a welcome addition to any charcuterie board.
- Meats like prosciutto, salami, summer sausage, and ham are ideal. Make sure the meats pair well with the cheeses for ultimate enjoyment.
- Consider savory accompaniments, including nuts, pickles, dips, and cold veggies. Think about what your guests will like.
- Fresh and dried fruits, sweet spreads, and dark chocolate round out the saltiness of the board with sweet flavors. Have fun gathering them all.
Charcuterie Boards Become Art
You do not have to be a famous chef to create an amazing charcuterie board. You do not even need a board. Just about any flat surface will work for creating your charcuterie board as long as it is clean. Charcuterie boards allow you to express your creative side and enjoy watching your guests devour the food offerings.