An eye-catching charcuterie board for the holidays is a feast for both the eyes and palate. We spoke to cheese expert John Litzinger at The Son of a Butcher to get some pointers on what this season’s best boards should include.
Clockwise, starting from the top left, this gorgeous board features the following items, available at The Son of a Butcher:
1. Cabot Clothbound Black Label - A one-year clothbound cheddar, aged at Jasper Hill Cellars.
2. Truffled chicken and pork liver pâté, spread on baguette.
4. Jamón Serrano.
5. Vacche Rosse Parmigiano Reggiano - A red cow, ancient breed parmigiano.
6. Capriole Sofia - An ash-ripened goat cheese from Indiana.
7. 18-month Prosciutto di Parma.
Also on the board are various pickled vegetables, dried fruits, nuts and spreads.
1. Consider the crowd when building the board — yourself included.
Litzinger advises against going to great lengths to make a board unusual. Pick items you and everyone else will enjoy, taking the crowd into consideration. "At a party, the visual aspect is more important – you want color and variety," he says. "And if I were building a board for other cheese industry people, I’d make a different board than for my family."
2. Pick three or four cheeses and a "wildcard."
You can't go wrong with one aged cheese, one soft cheese and another variant, such as blue. Then, add a final "wildcard" cheese if you're feeling adventurous. "With my family, we typically have about eight or nine people, so I’d go with about four cheeses," he says.
3. Keep accompaniments simple.
Because the holidays can be stressful, Litzinger says to keep it simple. "I like dried apricots, dates and figs," he notes. "And pickles are great for cutting fat, due to their acidity. I love pickled okra on cheese boards, and we carry them in the store."