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The Art of Charcuterie

[pronounced shar - koo - tuh - ree]

Charcuterie [pronounced shar - koo - tuh - ree] boards are one of the biggest trends in food right now, and deservedly so.  Often called “grazing boards” or cheese boards, charcuterie is an art form that is both beautiful and delicious.  With all the elements of salty, sweet, creamy, tangy, and crunchy, it’s always a crowd pleaser!

Take some time to consider ingredients and layout, and you can easily create something swoon worthy. Choose a pretty board, plate, or even use butcher paper on your counter or table to make your creation. The options are endless for size and shape, and anything goes! 

Your anchor ingredients should be placed first. Space your cheeses out across the board, and then position a few pretty ramekins or mason jars amongst them. You may use these to hold olives, jam, honey, or any other ingredient you don’t want leaking onto the board.  Next, add your meats. Spread them out along the board, rather than bunching them all in one place. Fill in any open spaces with fresh fruit, nuts, crackers and sweets. Using colorful candies and dried fruits is a fun way to bring in color palate to your board, especially if you’re creating it for a special event. Finally, add some finishing touches; sprigs of rosemary, pomegranate seeds, or edible flowers. 

The beauty of creating charcuterie boards is that you can be as simple or intricate as you choose.  Support local farmers and businesses by buying local, all while using your board as a centerpiece for great conversation and time with family and friends!


Choose several types with varying textures and flavors. Soft, mild cheese like brie or goat, a harder option, such as aged cheddar or gruyere, and something outside of the box, blue cheese, dill havarti, or even a spread. 2-3 oz/person is great for appetizers. 


After all, it’s in the name! Choose cured meats of different textures. Some popular options are prosciutto, capicola, soppressata, and hard salami. Guests don’t always want to cut into something, so always pre-slice meats (and hard cheeses!). 1-2 oz of meat/person is perfect. 


Fruit brings a needed sweetness to the salty elements. Choose what is in season! Go for bold colors when possible, and don’t shy away from “odd” choices like gooseberries or kiwi. Some of the best bites include meat, cheese, and fruit. Candy and chocolate also have a prized spot on your boards.  


Including some brined elements like olives and pickles adds saltiness and tanginess that pair well with meats and cheeses. You may want to serve these in a ramekin to avoid leaking.


Including a jam or honey (the honeycomb is edible and delicious!) really uplevels your board. Use a fun ramekin and a honey drizzler or pretty spoon.  A bit of honey or jam can cut through the saltiness of even the most fragrant cheese, and make it appealing to more people. 


Serve a variety of crackers and breads to hold all of this goodness! Include gluten free for those who may need that option. Add some nuts for another crunchy element. Some crowd pleasers are candied pecans and marcona almonds.  

Special thanks to:

Noble Springs Dairy, Franklin

Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co, Nashville

Bang Candy, Nashville

Nashville Toffee Co, Nashville

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  • Corinne Reese, Willco Wine and Cheese