There are few things I love more than charcuterie and cheese boards. My only problem with them is that I show no self-control, and I can easily end up over-eating because I just can’t stop!! I love taking these to gatherings because a) I’m always seeking out a little protein amongst a sea of dips and other apps, and b) there is no cooking required!
Today, I’m sharing a few tips I follow when styling my own charcuterie and cheese boards.
1. Mix up the textures.
A couple of years ago, my sweet mom lost her sense of taste and smell. Ever since, I’ve thought about texture in the foods we eat in a whole new way. When creating spreads of any kind, I like to have a healthy balance of textures – creamy, airy, chewy, flakey, crunchy. Texture adds so much to the overall eating experience.
2. Offer a combination of flavors.
Just as we mix up the textures, I make sure to provide variation in flavors as well. As a general rule of thumb, I make sure to have something sweet, something savory, and something pickle-y!
3. Add a pop-of-color.
It’s easy for meat and cheese boards to end up looking a little drab, so I try to make sure I always have a couple of things on the board that brighten it up a little. In this case, the cheddar cheese, dried apricots, pickled carrots and hot and sweet cherry peppers served as my POCs.
4. Build your board with balance in mind.
I like to start by placing any containers or bowls I’m using on the board first, then move onto the stars of the show, meat and cheese, and fill in with smaller items like nuts and dried fruit. I like to top it off with a few rosemary sprigs, which help fill in the gaps and also make the board smell heavenly! Don’t feel forced to fit your crackers or bread on the board. If you need to put those in a basket on the side, that’s perfectly fine. I tend to choose that option verses over-crowding my board with carbs.
5. Eat a few bites.
This might be the most important tip of all! (And certainly the most fun!) I like a charcuterie and cheese board to look a little imperfect — It feels more inviting that way. When nothing has been touched and the cheese hasn’t been cut into, it can feel a little intimidating for the first guest. Take the pressure off of your company by eating a few bites yourself. After all, you’ve earned it!
Anyone else suddenly craving a little snack?! I know one pup who sure is!
(I purchased all of these items at Trader Joe’s, but similar items can be found in most grocery stores!)
-garlic and herbs goat cheese
-package of 3 varieties of meat (salami, proscuitto, chorizo)
-hot and sweet cherry peppers
-Italian truffle cheese
-wasabi pea and nut mix
-serving board by Crate & Barrel