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How to Build a Charcuterie Board

Mmm—meats, cheeses and other delights! Charcuterie might just be the perfect party offering. Whether you’re plotting a small party or a huge feast, a well-constructed charcuterie board featuring complementary flavors is a crowd pleaser every time.

Select Your Board

Choose a charcuterie board that’s the right size to accommodate all of your salamis, cheeses and other tidbits—or spread out several boards so guests can easily snack and mingle. Wood and marble cheese boards are classic and look good in any setting. Slate boards are sleek, stylish and you can write directly on them in chalk to label your food offerings!

Meat & Greet

Fun fact: the word charcuterie originates from the French words for "meat" and "cooked" — and let’s face it, the meats are the stars of this tasty show. Cured prosciutto and salami with their rich saltiness pair well with crackers, cheese, and fruits like peaches, figs, cantaloupe and watermelon. And add slices of savory chorizo sausage to appease the spice-enthusiasts in the room.

Say Cheese

You can hardly go wrong when it comes to selecting gourmet cheeses for your charcuterie board, however a variety of textures looks as appealing as it tastes. Serve up a soft Brie or semi-soft Gouda with a semi-hard Manchego; and offer one or two ultra-textural options like Swiss or Jarlsberg. Spice things up with a wedge of pepper jack or add Gorgonzola blue cheese (Bonus: they’re colorful!).

Flavor Complements

A board loaded with diverse flavors is a successful one. Serve unique jams, zesty cornichons, salty olives and nuts like almonds or walnuts. Try drizzling goat cheese with a bit of honey for a sweet surprise. Lighten it up with fresh fruits: grapes, melon, blackberries and sliced strawberries are always good. Complete your board with bread sticks, pretzels, crackers or baguette slices and you're ready to enjoy!

Tools of the Trade

Last but not least, be sure to provide enough serving tools and small plates so everyone can easily help themselves to the spread. Cheese knives, cocktail forks or picks, and small serving spoons are must-haves for your board. Now that your charcuterie is complete, bon appetit!

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