How To Create A Charcuterie Board Like An Expert
Welcome to the Fox & Honey blog! Today we’re talking about how to make a beautiful & delicious charcuterie board.
Here at Fox & Honey we LOVE making charcuterie boards & tables. It’s not only beautiful but it’s literally all of my favorite foods together on one plate. Not only that, but each board can be customized for specific tastes, the seasons or even a color scheme. There is truly no limit on how to make or customize a charcuterie board – but don’t let that overwhelm you! Instead, think of the freedom you have when creating a board for at home or an event.
Here at Fox & Honey – we make A LOT of charcuterie boards. Small ones, large ones, full tables, color schemed ones, holiday boards + more.
The first step in creating a charcuterie board is gathering your ingredients.
For this board, we used 16 different ingredients! Sixteen! Isn’t that crazy?! Most of our ingredients for this board came from Hy Vee. They have an amazing cheese selection that offers a wide variety of cheeses at different price points. They also have a great selection of jams, spreads, crackers & cured meats.
We always recommend having at least 3-5 types of cheeses & 2-4 types of meat on a charcuterie board depending on your tastes & budget.
Picking your cheese:
Try to choose a variety of cheeses that contrast one another in taste, color & texture.
We love to always include: Brie, goat cheese and/or spreadable variety like boursin.
Hard cheeses include: Parmesan, Pecorino & Romano.
Semi Hard cheeses include: cheddar, gouda, cheese curds + many, many more varieties.
You’ll notice when picking out your cheese that cheese comes in different colors. Naturally, all cheese is white or a cream color but sometimes color is added to cheese during the cheese making process to make it yellow or orange in color. This coloring is called annatto which is an artificial coloring agent that sometimes adds a nutty profile to the cheese flavor. Other times, beta carotene is present in a particular cheese which adds a natural yellow, creaminess to the cheese.
We like to include a variety of cheeses that are both white & yellow/orange as it adds more depth to your charcuterie board.
There are many cheeses that come with dried fruit, herbs, nuts or infusions as well; definitely include some of these varieties as it adds additional visual layers to the board. And also it’s delicious & unique!
Picking your meats:
There is not quite as many cured meat options as there are cheese options so this part is a bit less overwhelming. For this board we used a peppered salami that we sliced ourself into mini medallions as well as a sweet sopprasata that came already sliced into larger, thinner pieces.
Proscuitto, pancetta & pepperoni are also popular meat varieties to add to a charcuterie board.
On this board in particular I ended up using 6 cheeses & just 2 types of meat as I am becoming less & less of a meat eater but I still wanted my board to have substance & variety.
What else do you need on a charcuterie board?
Well, anything really! But when we’re making a classic charcuterie board we like to include: olives, nuts, dried fruits, fresh berries or grapes, jam or spread, honeycomb or pickles.
Okay, let’s get started making this board!
This is what you will need:
- Food Safe board or platter
- Cheese Knives
- Jam or Spread
- 1-2 Soft Cheese Varieties
- 1-2 Hard Cheese Varieties
- 1-2 Semi Hard Cheese Varieties
- 2-4 Cured Meats
- Olives or Olive Medley
- 1 -2 Types of Nuts
- 1 – 2 Types of Dried Fruit
- Fresh Strawberries, Raspberries or Blackberries
Looking at the blank space of your board or tray can be overwhelming when you have this many ingredients to work with.
Take your largest ingredients – for example, a wheel of brie, a jar of jam & your block of boursin to create the “anchors” for your board. These are the mainstays of your board that all of your other ingredients will be built off of.
Without creating anchors on your board or table – there is no flow or reason to what you create. It all seems a bit jumbled & disorganized.
As you can see we used a wheel of brie, some spreadable cheese & a ramekin of jam for the anchors on this board. Notice that all three are different sizes & shapes - we also made sure each was slightly offset.
Once you have established your anchors, it's time to begin adding more elements - namely, cured meats the rest of your cheeses.
Use the other anchors on your board as props to build your other elements from. It helps to lean items up against each other or fill in space between items.
At this point there really isn't a hard & fast rule, or rhyme or reason for how you continuously add the rest of your ingredients. Just do what feels right :)
We like to add all of our "heavy" ingredients first which would be all of the cheese, meats & the jam. Then you can start to fill in the rest of the space with the accoutrements which include: olives, nuts, dried fruit, fresh berries, honey, herbs & flowers.
We try to keep similar flavor profiles & contrasting colors next to each other. This helps to create additional visual layers to your board as well as curate a board that flows well as you enjoy snacking from it.
Like I said - this board has 16 different ingredients on it! Sixteen! Variety is truly the spice of life when it comes to creating these boards. Purchasing all of these ingredients, herbs & flowers costs well over $150. However, you don't need to use the entirety of the package on a board. But if you're not in the mood to spend that much on a board - contact us! A board this size costs $55-$75 from a reputable caterer like ourselves - we have access to bulk, wholesale ingredients + have the buying power to scale our ingredients which provides a better price point for our customers.
Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or inquiries! Thanks for visiting our blog!