How to make a beautiful cheese and charcuterie board?

Charcuterie Board

I don’t know about you but personally, I’m a big fan of aperitifs! I love building beautiful mixed boards for entertaining, like the cheese and charcuterie board . I find these types of boards so visual, so colorful and appetizing!

These large aperitif platters have been invading Parisian bistros and bars for many years. The small glass of wine as an aperitif with a mixed board, made with products of varying quality, it must be said… And now, we are seeing a surge of these aperitif boards appear, antipasti boards, platters of cheeses or even boards composed solely of vegetables on social networks..

I think that among all the appetizer boards, the one I really prefer is the complete boards. Boards with cheese, cold meats, crackers and other small items for aperitifs. This allows you to have a well-stocked board, with lots of little antipastis.

Today, I’m going to give you my few tips for creating beautiful and generous aperitif platters!

charcuterie board

No more bowls filled with aperitif biscuits, seed mixes and other open packages right at the table. This type of appetizer board allows you to bring everything together and create an impression of quantity, very easily.

What to put on a cheese and charcuterie board?

I know, it’s simplistic to call it “cheese and charcuterie board” because after all, there are many things on it… But therefore, for a beautiful aperitif board, here are some ideas:

  • cheese (remember some tips for putting together your cheese platter )
  • cold cuts
  • crackers, breads and other shortbread aperitifs
  • dried fruits (dried fruits and oilseeds)
  • fresh fruit
  • antipasti

In terms of quantity, I advise you to choose between 3 and 6 types of products, to avoid overloading your tray, or frustrating your guests who cannot taste everything.

I created the board that illustrates this article at the end of August, so I opted for fresh seasonal fruits and some antipasti that still smelled of the summer sun. I find that antipasti or other small preparations are what take an appetizer board from a “basic” level to this “complete and colorful” level.

For example, you can opt for spreads such as pea spread or hummus , some marinated vegetables, olives or homemade radish pickles !

charcuterie board

The advantage of these beautiful aperitif boards is that you can go beyond the simple cheese and charcuterie board, and indulge in themes based on the seasons or even the regions.

You can, for example, opt for boards around regional themes with Jura cheeses, Lyonnaise charcuterie or for themes around countries: a beautiful aperitif board with Italian products, or even Greek or Spanish products…

Without falling into tapas or other mezze, the objective is to stay with our initial idea of ​​a cheese and charcuterie board, enhanced with a few additional sweet treats!

The 2 key words to keep in mind are quality and consistency : above all, choose quality products, since you will eat them raw! Also keep consistency in mind, so as not to go in all directions… I know how hard it is sometimes to choose what to put on the table!

charcuterie board

How to build a beautiful aperitif board?

Here we are finally at the heart of the subject. So I’m showing you the construction of a beautiful cheese and charcuterie platter for the aperitif, step by step, so that it is as generous as it is visual!

How to build charcuterie board

  1. Place the containers on your board: The containers are the largest masses on your cheese and charcuterie board. This will allow you to distribute them in a visual and balanced way. These containers will be used to place the antipasti but also as a marker to hold the other masses, namely the cheese.
  2. Place the cheeses: starting with the most massive, i.e. those that you cannot cut in advance (otherwise they would leak, dry, crust, etc.) – Place the “cut” cheeses afterwards (like hard cheeses and finish with cheeses cut into small cubes. Vary the sizes and shapes of the cuts for visual harmony.
  3. Place the crackers: No aperitif without bread or crackers. It is at this stage that I place the small aperitif shortbreads and the seed crackers , taking care to leave them easily accessible (so to place on the edges, ideally).
  4. Place the cold cuts: Again, vary the shapes and sizes. For example, I place ham in a chiffonade, dry-cured ham in small rolls, or in a rosette like slices of sausage, chorizo, etc.
  5. Place dried fruits and fresh fruits: The objective is to “fill the holes” with dried fruits and fresh fruits. Start with fresh fruit, which you will cut into slices or quarters, then with dried fruit (almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, etc.) which will easily fit into the small gaps in the board.
  6. Fill the containers with your antipasti: Just before serving, to keep them fresh if necessary! Place a few picks to make tasting easier

I advise you to dress your cheeses at least 30 minutes before serving. You can make your cheese and charcuterie board in advance, and keep it in a refrigerated place. You can take it out a little in advance, add your antipasti and bring the board to the table.

charcuterie board

What to drink with a mixed board, cheese and charcuterie?

charcuterie board

To accompany a cheese and charcuterie platter, there are several schools: white wines (or even rosé wines) or red wines.

Personally, I generally opt for white wine , finding that red wine often overwhelms the cheeses and charcuterie I choose.

To accompany my board of cheese and charcuterie, I opted for a white Saint-Joseph from Domaine Julien Pilon, the vintage “a Sunday in Lima” . I love the work of this winemaker and I find that this vintage has just the right amount of tension to marry with the fat of the charcuterie and cheese (without being too tense, however, we are not tasting a seafood platter). It is a dry white wine which has great power and is therefore ideally suited to hard cheese, mild goat cheese and cold meats.

If you are a fan of red, I advise you to take more mature cheeses, with more strength, perhaps going for blue cheeses. As for charcuterie, opt for charcuterie with a strong flavor, like game or duck terrines!

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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