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Thinking of making a charcuterie board for the holidays? If so, you’re in luck. These are the top ten best things you should use to create the most appetizing charcuterie board for your family, friends, and guests. Find a good-sized charcuterie board, and let’s get started.
1. The Charcuterie Board
The first and most basic element to building your charcuterie board is the board itself. If you’re wondering what type of board to use, there are no general guidelines. You can use any board that is ideal for the size of your party. If you have a chopping board or a butcher’s block, you can use that for your charcuterie board.
The best charcuterie board must consist of several types of cheese. Ideally, you need at least three types of cheeses. Here is an overview of what cheeses to add to your board.
- Hard cheese (cheddar, gouda)
- Soft cheese (brie, havarti)
- Semi-hard cheese (Gruyere, Provolone)
3. Cured Meat
Cured meat is another main attraction on a charcuterie board. The slices of cured meats add flavor and texture to your board. Plus, they can make your board look more visually appetizing. The best cured meats for a charcuterie board are salami, prosciutto, ham, and Mortadella. However, you can choose the cold cuts you want to add – it’s completely up to your preference.
Like cold cuts, adding crackers to a charcuterie board adds more variety in terms of flavor and texture. They also pair perfectly with the cheese. Again, you can choose crackers according to your preference.
If you don’t like crackers, you can swap them for bread instead. The main purpose of the bread is so that you have something to pair your cheese with. Any bread works, but the crusty ones work best, such as a baguette.
No charcuterie board is complete without nuts. They add a unique flavor profile to your board. The most popular nuts for a charcuterie board are pecans, almonds, and cashews, just to name a few. You can even roast them with seasonings if you want to get fancy.
You can add fresh or dried fruits to your charcuterie board. If you’re going to add fresh fruits, berries are a perfect choice because they add a sweet-tart component to your board. Plus, they add color to the board. Other great fruit options are grapes, figs, cherries, and dates.
A winning charcuterie board should have condiments to serve with your bread and crackers. You can easily customize your board based on what condiments you serve or vice versa. Raw honey is a popular choice, but mustard and fig jams also work.
Whether or not you have a vegetarian charcuterie board, you can toss in some veggies. They add color, texture, and flavor to your charcuterie board. Slice your veggies into bite-sized shapes to make them easier to enjoy. You can use carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, or radishes. It’s also a good idea to add pickled veggies.
10. Sweet Snacks
For a perfectly balanced charcuterie board, add some sweet snacks to your charcuterie board. the best sweet snacks to add to your board are bite-sized cookies, pretzels, brownie brittles, and chocolate-covered nuts. You can make your own or use the store-bought variety.
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This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.