How To: Charcuterie Boards
Charcuterie is a branch of cooking involving prepared meats.The word originated in France. And while the word translates to "pork-butcher shop," modern charcuterie boards can include a variety of food, like other meats, cheese, toast, fruit and more.
The France edition Culture Cakes Kit came with many sweets and pastries, but we want to take you beyond the box and explore deeper into the vast French culinary culture. Learn more about the basics and how to put together the perfect charcuterie board below!
English pronunciation: shar-COO-tur-ree. French pronunciation: shar-coo-tree.
How to build a simple charcuterie board
What you will need:
- A platter. This could be a simple plate, a cutting board, or even a fancy marble dish. (We personally love to use trays with handles)
- The dishes. Dishes create structure and functionality on the board. They don't have to match or be fancy, but they should be practical for the item. Like a bowl for olives, a knife for jam, or a jar for honey.
- Meats and Cheeses. Pick your favorite meats and cheeses here that pair well with the rest of your plan. As a rule of thumb, include three to five cheeses in these basic categories: a hard cheese, a soft cheese, and a blue cheese, and a variety of meats (like sliced salami and a pate for example.)
- Starches. Crackers, breadsticks, breads, you name it. These items bring great texture to your board, and can really help to fill up your guests. Use a variety of starches that complement your board. For example, sliced baguettes to pair with olive oil, flavorful crackers to pair with brie and jam, or even graham crackers to pair with chocolates.
- Produce. Fruits and veggies add color and freshness to a charcuterie board. Use a wide variety of in season or in theme products. Like celery and carrot sticks for a game day board, or pineapple slices for a summer board.
An ideal charcuterie board has a good balance of flavors and textures and has items that contrast and complement each other. Here are some tips for making pairings and choosing ideal options for your charcuterie tray:
- Pair a chewy salami with a rich and smooth pate.
- Complement spicy chorizo with sweet fruits, like dried apricots.
- Contrast cold cheeses, fruits, or meats with cheese, like warmed brie.
Steps to build your board:
- Add structure with dishes: Fill small vessels with loose items and liquids and place around your board. For example, a bowl of nuts or a jar of jam.
- Add the cheeses and meats: Start with your larger cheeses, then smaller cheese, then fill in with cuts of meat.
- Add your starches around the board.
- Fill in the gaps with your produce and decorative pieces.
Voila! Your simple charcuterie board is built and ready to be enjoyed by the masses. Check out some of our examples below. Then be sure to show us your charcuteries boards in our Facebook group Culture & Cakes!
Girls Night Board Lunch Charcuterie Board