In recent years, charcuterie boards of all shapes, sizes and flavors have been circulating the internet. Despite the word “charcuterie” dating back to 15th Century France (meaning a place selling cold and sometimes cured meats), these boards have just recently become viral sensations, with the uniqueness of boards growing by the day.
Charcuterie “How To”
Before getting into various types of charcuterie board ideas that have flooded social media, it’s important to have some charcuterie “how to” knowledge if you’re ever hosting guests and want them to have a memorable appetizer.
The most traditional serving platters are rectangular wooden boards, which seem to have a certain aesthetic appeal that others don’t. While some people may love to bring out all the bells and whistles for their boards, a simple wooden cutting board has proven to work perfectly fine.
Other non-traditional platters include longer, wide bowls, circular trays, or even pizza stones. What really makes the best charcuterie boards, aside from presentation, is what food is featured.
The most common meats you’ll see on the best charcuterie boards will be salami, pepperoni, ham and prosciutto. Familiar cheeses will include sharp cheddars, comte, manchego, brie, gruyere and others. Though meat and cheeses may be the traditional stars of the best charcuterie boards, the rest of the cast plays an integral role in creating a sensation of new flavors.
Beginning with crackers, some of the most common ones featured are simple butter crackers, whole wheat crackers, rice crackers and even pretzel chips. Other supporting elements range from bite-size pickles, nuts, grapes, melons, olives, and even one or two dips or jams to pair with the crackers and cheese. It is important to note that all the food be sliced, diced, or laid to be in a small charcuterie serving size so people can pick at what they wish in a casual manner.
Having small cheese knives, toothpicks and possibly teaspoons put the finishing touches on what is sure to be a tremendous and universally-loved charcuterie board. The charcuterie “how to” is relatively easy, but having a general theme to the board and tastes that can pair well with everything else on the board turns a hit into a home run. But what about other charcuterie board ideas that can be just as good but not composed of meat and cheese?
Charcuterie Board Ideas
While the “traditional” charcuterie boars contain various meats and cheeses (with the option of some crackers and other savory pairings), the creativity of some have shined through in the form of chocolate charcuterie boards, candy charcuterie boards, or fruit charcuterie boards.
While it is important to keep charcuterie serving size portions in tact, stepping out of the comfort zone and turning snacks into a creative platter to shine at any event is where the some of the best ideas come in. When it comes to chocolate charcuterie boards, take our toffee for example, it is so important to have some diversity. Since chocolate can universally taste the same, having it paired with different foods or presented in different ways is key to make chocolate charcuterie boards stand out.
With five unique flavors and nuts of the same dark chocolate, sprinkling our toffee around the board with an assortment of berries and ice cream makes for an incredible chocolate charcuterie board. With candy, having some gummy candies mixed with savory ones with and some healthy, but sweet, fruit options in the center is the perfect way to please everyone for dessert.
Having the candy option is another great way to ensure that charcuterie serving sizes remain in effect and with so many options to choose from, no one will be sick of having just one flavor of anything. Charcuterie serving sizes can be subjective though, with some viral trends having hotdog and hamburger boards. Regardless, as long as the “main stars” of a charcuterie board have complementing flavors and an overall theme, people will be sure to leave the platter dry and have you going back into the kitchen to make another.