7 Tips for Curating an Amazing Cheese + Charcuterie Board

Cheese and charcuterie boards are a popular way to present a meal that’s both convenient and creative. Their large variety of foods and flavors offer enough choices to feed a crowd, while their dramatic display creates a stunning centerpiece – and conversation piece – for any table.

There’s more to creating a cheese and charcuterie board than placing some cheese and cured meats on a board (though that’s certainly part of the process). That’s because charcuterie – a French term that refers to the display of cured meats – is as much an art form as it is an appetizer. Plus, you can’t forget all of those amazing additions that take a board from good to great!

If art isn’t your strong suit, don’t worry – we’re here to take the challenge out of curating a perfect cheese and charcuterie board with seven helpful tips.

Select Different Types of Cheese

The key to a great cheese and charcuterie experience is experimenting with a variety of tastes and textures. For cheese, that means choosing between 4 and 6 different types that offer a nice variety for the palate.

Typically this will include a combination of soft, semi-soft, firm and hard cheeses. Hard cheeses like aged white cheddar or Parmigiano-Reggiano have a sharper taste and denser texture than softer cheeses like brie. Although choices may include a creamy, but crumbly cheese like chèvre as well as a spread of smoked cheese (Gouda) or herbed Havarti.

Include a Variety of Meats

Like your cheeses, you’ll need to consider taste and texture when choosing your charcuterie. Thinly-sliced Prosciutto is a staple choice for any charcuterie board – its salty, savory flavor pairs well with sweeter items like chèvre and apricots. You can also add some softer meats for spreading like pork rillettes or pate. Other common choices include salami, Spanish chorizo, and soppressata.

Because charcuterie plays such a large role in your board (it’s right there in the name), it’s important to choose meats of the highest quality. Before planning your board, pop into The Pantry to browse our selection of premium Boar’s Head products!

Mix in Some Fruits

Fruits are a great way to add sweetness to all that salty flavor. Fresh fruits like figs, strawberries, apples, and pears are amazing additions to any board (especially when they’re in season). You may also include dried fruits like apricots or cranberries, which pair perfectly with nutty cheeses like Gruyere and Gouda.

Go Nuts

Nuts are a great complement to your charcuterie board because they pair well with cheeses and add a nice crunch to your choices. Use your cheese selections to choose the right nuts – almonds go great with hard cheeses, pecans are perfect for brie, walnuts are wonderful with aged cheeses, and cashews have a creamy taste that combines well with blue cheese.

Choose a Variety of Bases

Crackers, bread, chips – you’ll want a variety of bases with which to build the perfect bite. A good blend of sturdy crackers is a classic choice and adding in a sliced baguette or bundle of breadsticks is a good way to achieve the right balance.

Plan a Perfect Presentation

A great cheese and charcuterie board is as much a feast for the eyes as for the tastebuds. There are entire articles devoted to the art of board presentation, but a few helpful tips can help you create a beautiful board:

  • For a visually appealing spread, aim to include an odd number of cheeses and meats.
  • Start by plating your small bowls first, then group your items and accompaniments by type.
  • Fold your meats to save space and make them easier for grazers to grab.
  • Add some color by garnishing your board with fresh herbs and/or edible flowers.

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Orange Beach Concierge was born out of our love of hosting a great party, event planning and everyday organization combined with Chef David’s drive and desire to be the very best at his culinary craft. We are an Alabama gulf coast-based boutique concierge service offering highly personalized services.