If you love food, chances are you've heard of charcuterie. But what exactly is it? And what should be on a good charcuterie board? In this blog post we will give you an introduction to everything related to charcuterie and platters, as well as some tips for making it at home! So read on and get ready to learn more about one of the tastiest and most refined culinary traditions around.
What is charcuterie and what goes on a snack board?
A charcuterie board, also known as a snack board and cheese board, is traditionally an assortment of cured meats, cheeses and other savory snacks. The meats and cheeses are usually combined with various types of bread and crackers, fruit and nuts. There are endless possibilities when it comes to creating the perfect charcuterie board. In this blog post we give you some tips for putting together the perfect shelf for every occasion.
Tips for putting together the perfect Charcuterie board
1. Choose your meat and cheeses wisely. With meats, try mixing the flavors and textures. A good mix of sweet, salty and spicy is always a hit. Some of our favorite meats are salami, prosciutto, chorizo and pepperoni. As for the cheeses, we also recommend choosing a variety of textures and flavors. Some of our favorites are cheddar, goat cheese, brie and gouda.
2. Don't forget the crackers! Tasty crackers are a must on every meat platter. We love these rosemary parmesan crackers. They go perfectly with almost any meat or cheese.
3. Add some color with fruits and vegetables. We like to add grapes, berries, cherries, sliced apples or pears, olives and roasted red peppers to our plates. Not only do they look beautiful, but they also add a delicious burst of flavor.
4. Nuts are always a good idea. Walnuts, almonds, pistachios… you can't go wrong with any of them. We like to roast ours in the oven with a little salt for an extra burst of flavor.
5. Be creative with your drinks boards! Traditional rectangular shelves are great, but don't be afraid to think outside the box (literally). Round boards, slate boards, even cookie sheets make great bases for charcuterie boards. The sky's the limit!
6.The most important thing is… have fun! The best part about making charcuterie boards is that there are no rules. So be creative, experiment, and above all… enjoy!
How to make a simple but delicious charcuterie board?
Choosing meats and cheeses
When choosing meat and cheese for your snack board, the possibilities are endless. But we recommend using a variety of colors, textures and flavors to create a visually appealing and well-rounded plate. Here are a few of our favorites:
Meats: prosciutto, salami, chorizo, pancetta, sopressata, pepperoni, ham
Cheeses: brie, cheddar, Gruyere, gouda, blue cheese, feta, chevre
Serving your charcuterie board
Once you've chosen your meats and cheeses, it's time to start plating. If you're short on time or feeling overwhelmed, you can always purchase a pre-made charcuterie board. But if you're up for the challenge, follow these simple steps:
1. Choose a large wooden cutting board or bowl. Arrange the meats and cheeses on the board, with enough space between them for easy cutting. If you are using crackers or bread, place them around the edge of the board
2. Garnish with fresh fruit (grapes are a classic choice), nuts (we like almonds and pistachios), olives, honey or jam
3. Serve at room temperature - this will bring out the flavors much better
4. Pair with wine (red or white), beer (lagers or IPAs work well), or bubbles (champagne or prosecco). Coffee, iced tea or water are also great non-alcoholic options
Recipes for some of the most popular meats and cheeses used on charcuterie boards
One of the best things about charcuterie boards is that they are completely customizable. You can choose your favorite meats, cheeses, fruits and nuts to create a board that is all yours. Not sure where to start? Read our tips for charcuterie below!
Pate is a type of spreadable paste made from liver and other organ meats, usually seasoned with salt, pepper and various herbs and spices. Although pâté can be made from any type of liver, the most commonly used types in processed meats are chicken liver pâté and duck liver pâté.
A terrine is a type of pâté made from minced or ground meat that is cooked in a mold or loaf pan. The word “terrine” comes from the French word for “earthenware pot.” Like pâté, terrines are usually seasoned with salt, pepper and various herbs and spices. Commonly used meat in terrines is pork, rabbit, goose and lamb.
Rillettes are similar to pate in that they are both spreadable pastes of meat. Rillettes, however, are made from shredded or pulled meat (usually pork) that has been slowly cooked in fat until semi-cooked. When the meat is thoroughly cooked, it is shredded by hand and then mixed with some of the shortening to form a smooth paste. Rillettes can be served cold or at room temperature.
Bresaola is a type of salted beef that comes from the Valtellina Valley in the Italian region of Lombardy. The meat is dried with salt, pepper and other spices for several weeks, before being air dried for several more weeks. The result is a firm but slightly tough salted beef with a deep red color and an intense flavor. Bresaola can be cut into thin slices and served on its own or added to salads or pasta dishes.
Variations on the traditional charcuterie board that will tantalize your taste buds
Now that you've got the basics down, it's time to get creative! Here are a few of our favorite variations on the classic charcuterie board:
Mexican snack board
Add some flair to your plate with Tex-Mex favorites like jalapeño sausage, queso Blanco and tortilla chips. Serve with salsa and guacamole for an extra kick.
Start your day right with a breakfast board with all your favorite morning foods. Think smoked salmon, cream cheese, bagels, eggs, bacon…yum!
This one is perfect for those with a sweet tooth! Fill your plate with candy bars, gummy bears, chocolate chips… you name it! Don't forget the sprinkles 😉
Charcuterie is a fun and easy way to show off your culinary skills and impress your guests. With the right ingredients, tools, and instructions, you can create beautiful and delicious appetizers that will have everyone asking for a second helping. Be sure to check out our selection of snack boards and boxes to get started for your next party or gathering. And don't forget to share your creations with us on social media!