Imagine a Friday night with your friends, your favourite show, good wine, good food, and no one having to cook. Well, this is pretty much what charcuterie boards are about, being able to enjoy your friend’s company and good food without having to worry about who is going to cook. It’s about picking the ingredients that would make the right combinations to put together the perfect plate.
Charcuterie, a French word used to refer to different types of cured meat, from mousse and rillettes, to salami and prosciutto, is often seen as an appetizer to prepare your stomach for themain event. But well assembled, a charcuterie board can easily become a buffet-style main course.
Whether you’re planning on a picnic this Saturday afternoon, or have been designated as the organiser in chief for a party this Friday night, the following will definitely come in handy to make sure that all your convives leave with full bellies, and their taste buds ready to shower you with compliments.
Now sit back, relax, and have a look at the ideas that we have gathered to help you take your charcuterie boards to the next level.
Usually, charcuterie plates are centred around two products, meat and cheese. However, to make sure that you have a full course meal it is necessary to widen your horizons. You could add bread, crackers, vegetables, dips, but also fruits and jams to allow your mouth to indulge in a contrast of flavour for those who can appreciate such mix. And finally, drinks.
Whether you are going for a beer, some wine, or a cocktail, it‘s the perfect occasion for you to become the connoisseur you were born to be, and savour your meal with the finest beverages.
Now let’s dive in to what products you could be adding to your feast:
Meat: When it comes to meat selection, you are spoilt for choice. You could go with the salty taste of cured meat (prosciutto, porchetta, mortadella, chorizo, speck, salami, sausage…), or with the melting texture of some cooked meats (pate, mousse, rillettes, terrine, boudin, ham…).
Cheese: Similar to meat, it is important to diversify your cheese selection to be sure to offer the full experience to your guests. Those that usually work well are parmigiano reggiano, gouda, goats cheese, gruyere, blue cheese, or brie. Choosing a combination of these would ensure a good mix of hard, soft, creamy, and medium-hard cheese.
Bread & crackers: These are the perfect elements to give your guests the opportunity to make their own bruschetta, but they are also crucial to enjoy ingredients such as pâté, mousse, rillettes, or creamy cheeses. Thus, we would advise you to go for a couple of baguettes, as well as toasted baguette slices and some crackers.
- Vegetables: Here, you are allowed to go with any vegetables that are your typical appetizers such as olives, roasted peppers, pickles, or asparagus. To try something new, why not give some of our products a go, such as our SunBlush® tomatoes, CherryBell® tomatoes, and Roquito® Pepper Pearls.
- Dips: When you need to cover a slice of bread with a tasty spread, hummus, tapenade, mustard, or our La Fresca® Guacamole could be your best bet.
Fruits and jams: Even though it is not seen as a must for some, whether you are trying to partake in the science of sweet and salty, or just want to have somewhat of a dessert, grapevines, figs, blueberries, melons, cherries, dried fruits, and any of your favourite fruit jams would be a great addition to your board.
- Drinks: Consuming beverages with charcuterie is an art, not an exact science. It should be about complementing or contrasting with one another, and your palate should be the judge when it comes to the right pairing. From gin, scotch whisky, to red wine, or cocktails and juice, make sure to bring a large range of drinks for your guests to choose from.
With endless possibilities of ingredients, it sure can be tempting to load your board high, but don’t get too carried away. You wouldn’t want to have too much on your plate (pardon the pun…).
It is also important to keep one thing in mind…don’t forget to make it look appealing! Even though the visual aspect of your preparation should not be your focal point, let’s not forget that your guests will devour your plate with their eyes first, hence why you should strive to dazzle them with shapes and colours.
There you have it, your amazing charcuterie boards. Obviously, there is no right way to do it, the most important thing is to try, experiment, have fun during the process, and enjoy the fruits of your labour, or the meat…
And you, how do you like your charcuterie boards?