Make an Epic Charcuterie Board

One Christmas my dad gave me the job of assembling the charcuterie board for the family Christmas eve party and I fell in love with the process of slicing the meats and cheese and arranging everything so that it perfectly fit on the board or platter we were using. The ironic thing about it was that at the time I was a vegan. I have since moved on from my plant based ways and have fallen even more in love with these epic cheese boards! Follow my tips below to make an epic charcuterie board for your friends and family!

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Use this guide to make an epic charcuterie board or cheese plate for your next holiday gathering or party with family and friends!

Choose a Tray or Plate

I choose my plate based on how many people I am serving. If it just for me and my girlfriend I use a dinner plate. I have listed below some of the plates and trays I like to use.

  • Tree Bark Server - This is the one I am using in the video below. I like this one because I prefer a round tray and because as your guests eat is a beautiful surface below is revealed.

  • Butcher Block Board - Butcher block is another great option because like the tree bark it is an attractive surface. I also like the square option because it is easier to create symmetry.

  • Slate - If you know you wont be able to cover the full block with cheese or you want to display decorative cheese knives, slate would be my choice.

  • Pastry Marble - a marble pastry slab can be cumbersome, but makes for a surface that will keep the cheese slightly chilled as it is served if you leave it in the fridge before serving.

  • Wood Pizza Peel - I love this idea because then you have a built in handle to carry your cheese tray with!

Anchor Your Cheeses, Meats, and Fruit with Pinch Bowls

First thing I add to my blank board are my little pinch bowls and fill them with my pickles, peppers, olives and condiments. I love to use these basic glass pinch bowls or little ramekins. Some of the things I like to put in my bowls:

  • Jams and Jellies - My favorites are fig jam, raspberry jelly or a spicy pepper jelly.

  • Mini gherkin dill pickles

  • Pepperoncini or stuffed peppers - if you’re in the Philadelphia are DiBruno brothers has the best stuffed peppers.

  • Olives of any kind

  • Marcona almonds

  • Marinated mozzarella

  • Roasted red peppers

  • Grainy mustard

  • Honey or Truffle Honey

Choosing your Cheese

There is no exact science to this because it all depends on what you and your friends and family like to eat! If you can only pick 3 I suggest a sharp cheddar because its a crowd pleaser, a soft cheese like a triple cream brie and something harder like an aged gouda. My favorites

  • Sharp Cheddar - Trader Joe’s has a great one by their brand. I also just like a standard Cabbot sharp cheddar.

  • Mini Mozzarella Balls - I love to add these to a cheese tray for kids to enjoy.

  • Manchego - It is a unique flavor that most people recognize, but forget to pick.

  • Triple Cream Brie - with any kind of jam and green apple is a winner.

  • Aged Goat - If you are already doing Brie, the I suggest choosing a firmer aged goat that can be sliced

  • Truffled Anything - I love a truffled cheese. Nothing says “class” like showing up to a party with some truffle cheese

  • Gouda or Gruyere - Just because they’re both delicious

Choosing Your Meats

When it comes to meat all you need to think of is having a variety of texture and spice.

  • Prosciutto - My charcuterie board favorite because it looks pretty on a tray and many people love it.

  • Hard Salami - I like to buy this in a tube so that I can control how thick or thin to slice the rounds.

  • Softer Genoa Salami - I buy this one pre sliced and fold it up into little quarters on the plate

  • Capicola - Saltier and spicier than the other cheeses, I buy the least of this but always still include it.

Crackers and Other Dipping Devices

I rarely put my crackers on the same board as my meats and cheeses and keep them in a basket on the side with the exception of apples.

  • Green Apples - I always include these for a hit of acid with the decadent cheese. If I need to make my board ahead of time I toss them in a squeeze of lemon juice so they don’t brown

  • Cucumber Slices - A nice “cracker” option for your gluten free or low carb party goers.

  • A basic butter cracker

  • Rosemary crisp cracker

  • Pretzel thins

  • A gluten free options - my favorite are Simple Mills or Mary’s Gone Crackers

I hope this post and video helps you build your own epic charcuterie boards!

Use this guide to make an epic charcuterie board or cheese plate for your next holiday gathering or party with family and friends!