Charcuterie Board Basics for Beginners

By Liam Wirsansky on July 28, 2020

Charcuterie boards have become one of the latest social media crazed that has trended in the last few months, for many delectable reasons. With the ongoing pandemic, creating a nice charcuterie dish with your friends or loved ones could be the perfect activity and snack to keep you safely indoors. Here are a few good tips for gathering ingredients and meal preparation for people just getting started on their charcuterie masterpieces.

Start Small

It is easy to see a really crazy type of charcuterie board example online and want to imitate it, but there’s no need to overdo it if you’re just starting out. Over complicating things can lead to an expensive list of ingredients that becomes increasingly difficult to set up. There is also the possibility that you or the people trying the board may not enjoy the taste of some of the food selections. It is good to limit yourself on how much food you actually include because charcuterie boards are much more filling than they tend to appear. Planning out exactly what you are going to purchase before going to the store is imperative to a successful and efficient trip to the grocery store.

Know What You Want and Buy What You Like

Like I mentioned above, it is much easier to plan out exactly what you are going to get at the store before going. Because there are so many variations on charcuterie boards to the point that people will include almost anything, you should pick ingredients that the consumers of the board unequivocally enjoy. While I can’t make suggestions based on specific preferences, there are a few essentials that I believe every charcuterie board should include to a varying degree.

Some Essentials Suggestions

It is typically good to pick a few types of cheese, usually around three so that you can experience the different qualities and toughness each cheese has to offer. A goat cheese, a soft creamy cheese, and a hard cheese. When it comes to the meat portion, most charcuterie boards usually include some sort of deli cut. Most delis sell prepackaged charcuterie meats, such as salami, prosciutto, or capricullo. You really only need one kind, but some packages will include a mix or blend, which may give you the opportunity to try a few different types. A nice sized baguette cut into pieces or crackers should serve nicely to piece your snacks together, while a nice jam should add a dynamic sense of flavor to compliment the cheese. Adding some honey also never hurts. Adding a bowl of your favorite fruit or two should cap off the board nicely, unless you’re feeling like having a nice glass of wine to go along with it.

Preparation Tips

Like I mentioned in the beginning of the article, there are some crazy charcuterie board setups out there, but that doesn’t always mean that simple isn’t still elegant. When you are first starting out, placing all bowls down on the board that you intend to keep there allows for the other food to better wrap around them and fill the plate. Folding or rolling your deli meat can be a great way to make any shape that you need to cover, or to save space on the board. Another great way to save space on the board is to drizzle the jam on the goat cheese and/or honey on any of the soft or hard cheese, at the discretion of the consumers of course. Finally, keeping your baguette soft and warm is imperative. Cutting the bread into the predetermined sized slices and then placing them in the oven and clicking ‘warm and hold’ should keep the pieces nice and toasty as you’re preparing the rest of your charcuterie board.

Enjoy it

At the end of the day you should not be stressing about your charcuterie board, but enjoying the process, especially the eating part, once you have completed building your masterpiece. Hopefully following my suggestions will help make your charcuterie experience a little bit easier, but if you are looking for some more difficult charcuterie projects and instructions on how to make them, Tik Tok has some really great accounts to follow.

Liam Wirsansky is a Senior at Florida State University, pursuing a double major in Theatre and Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT). He serves as the President and Artistic Director of White Mouse Theatre Productions at FSU and is also the playwright of the plays, Moonchildren and Finding a New Year.

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