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The Art of Charcuterie

Board Craftsmanship

Elegant and stylish charcuterie boards have been gracing countertops for the past several years.  Their ease and diversity make them an obvious hors d’oeuvres “go to” for large or small gatherings. However, not only can its French name be tricky to pronounce (shahr-ku-tuh-ree), the idea of crafting a board can be intimidating as you are making decisions as to what to include.  Most commonly, charcuterie boards are a curated selection of cured meats and sausages and delectable cheeses.  As they have become more popular, these boards have evolved with people’s creativity and personal palettes.  Not only are a wide variety of savory charcuterie options available, there are delightful well-executed blends of sweet and savory, as well as dessert boards to drool over.

The artisanal qualities, vibrant colors, and endless items that can be used are captivating to any hungry audience.  It encompasses and delivers three key factors that people look for in food, whether they are dining at home or out.  It’s experiential-charcuterie creates a positive and memorable eating experience.  It is also incredibly convenient with easy-to-find ingredients that can be quickly assembled and effortlessly transported.  And with its rich history and traditions, charcuterie is seen as a simple and “real food” with an authentic story. With these examples and ideas, you’ll have no problem creating your own work of charcuterie.

Traditional Meat & Cheese

Presentation Board

The most common choices for presentation are beautiful, solid wooden boards, however unique plates or platters can be just as gorgeous.

Meat

The basis of every board is meat, so choose a variety of flavors & textures, pre-sliced and sliceable meats.

Cheese

It’s not a board without rich, creamy cheeses.  Hard and soft cheeses from mellow to sharp, sliced or not, pair perfectly with meat selections.

Breads & Crackers

Buttery flaky crackers, grain crackers, and thinly sliced and toasted baguettes add the perfect crunch.

Fruits & Nuts

Using a variety of richly colored fruits like blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and peaches will create a gorgeous visual.  Nuts should be shelled and salted for additional flavors and textures.

Pickles, Olives, & Dips

Add some zip or unique flavors (sweet or salty) with dill pickles, olives, jellies, mustards, and dips.

S’more Board

Iconic Ingredients

Chocolate.  Marshmallows. Graham crackers.  It’s not a s’more if one of these ingredients are missing, but you can add a twist by using chocolate cookies, peanut butter cups, marshmallow fluff, and graham cracker crumbs in addition to or instead of regular items.

Fruit

Sweet and healthy!  Berries are a definite go-to, but using unlikely fruits like sliced cherries or apples might create a unique new fireside treat.

Dips

There are so many options to take your s’mores to the next level: peanut butter, caramel sauce, and Nutella are some delicious choices!

Breakfast Board

Pastries

Waffles and pancakes are perfect breakfast items that leave room for an array of additional elements to add to the board.  However, you go in a different direction with muffins, donuts, danishes, or croissants. 

Protein

To balance out the sweet breakfast items, include some flavorful protein like bacon, sausage, or ham.  You could also whip up mini quiches or egg cups that include meat, cheese, and veggies.

Fruit

Healthy and fresh, fruit can be a staple to any board.  All fruit is delicious, however sliced oranges, cantaloupe chunks, halved peaches, pineapple wedges, and mango slices will pull your board together and make it quite distinctive.

Toppings

Depending on the main components of your board, there are variety of finishing touches you could add-butter, whipped cream, syrup, fruit compote, jam, powdered sugar, or peanut butter.

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