The French word chacuiterie (pronounced “shahr-ku-tuh-ree”) translates to delicatessen in English and it is used to describe the art of preparing and assembling cured meats and other products into delicious grazing boards.
Easily scalable and customizable; a good charcuterie board can be an entrée, appetizer or even a dessert option. Plus, it’s a fuss-free and easily caters to a variety of different diets and preferences; sweet, savory, vegan, gluten-free, there something here for everyone.
Use in-season fruits and veggies to make it easy on yourself and add a few special touches for holidays. For example, a Christmas charcuterie board could have sprigs of thyme and cranberries scattered about. A Valentine’s Day charcuterie board could have a small bowl of conversation hearts, red cinnamon gummy bears, and LOTS of chocolate. Get as creative as you like: chipcuterie (watch our fun how-to video here), pancake, loaded nacho and burger boards have all been shared on social media during the quarantine period and the trend shows no sign of disappearing.
Traditionally piled high with cured meats, cheeses, crackers, fruit, nuts and more, your guests will be wowed by this gorgeous spread. We’ve assembled our top tips on how to put your own board together with TableCraft Home.
Start with your board of choice: round, rectangular, melamine or wood – all work.
- 14-inch round for smaller gatherings (10081) – wood for a traditional look, with handle for easy placing
- 18-inch round for larger get-togethers with family and friends (123519BR) – melamine construction means the dishwasher can do the hard work at the end of the night
- 21×12.75 rectangular size (CRATE11) – use with a liner for easy assembly and clean up
Charcuterie boards can be as big or as small as you want them to be. Charcuterie for two is super fun for date night or picnics. Or for large events you can always create more than one board to ensure guests have plenty at hand.
You will also need a selection of small bowls, disposable cups or ramekins for the dips, jams or sauces. These bowls perform double duty by acting as the ground work for your board. Solid, sturdy, they are great to lean crackers against, pile dried fruit next to, stack cheese by, etc. Place them around the board. The number and size will depend on how large your board is.
These foods typically go on a charcuterie board:
- Cured meats
- Dried Fruit
- Crackers or baguette bread
- Variety of jams, preserves, mustards, or dips.
Give your guests some variety!
- Make sure your board is clean and dry, then place 3-4 ramekins for your liquid ingredients
- Prepare your produce. Get thin, even slices of cheese with our handy cheese slicer (H77448) and crack any nuts with our nut cracker and pick set (H1245).
- Then start to fill the board with meats, vegetables, fruit, olives and your prepped produce.
- If preparing ahead, take your time creating your board then leave covered in the fridge until guests arrive.
- Add bruschetta, baguette slices or crackers to the board just before serving so they don’t go soggy.
- Think Color! When selecting items for your board, choose some that will “pop” on your board. Bright reds (strawberries, cherries, tomatoes), bright greens (grapes, apple slices, herb garnish), etc. There are too many brown foods out there and if you’re not careful, your board will look bland, not brilliant.
- Vary the Texture: The same goes with texture. Variety is key. You want some smooth, shiny surfaces like dates. You want some rough, edgy surfaces like Triscuit crackers. Some should look wet or moist like the jams and spreads, and others super dry, like pistachios and almonds.
- No fingers: Make sure to have bamboo tongs (BAMDT35 or BAMDT6), forks or picks on hand so guests can grab what they want in a sanitary way.
Do you love Chacuiterie Boards as much as we do? Leave a comment below.