One thing you'll discover if you ever search charcuterie boards is that everybody has their own opinions on what should be included. Turns out, so do we. At the end of the day, however, if you build it with food that you love, it is sure to turn out fantastic!
To begin, you'll need to consider how you want to serve it. Will it be as a starter or first course? Or are you looking for more of a main, casual course? While determining this doesn't really change what goes on the board, it does help establish how much of each item you need to plan for. A good rule of thumb if you're making it as a starter, think 2 ounces of meats and 2 ounces of cheese per person. If it will be a main course, increase to 5 ounces a person.
Here's what we like to include:
1. Meats: offer both pre-sliced meats (i.e., proscuitto) as well as something that your guests can slice themselves (salami). If we can find some we like, also something spreadable (pate or terrine).
2. Cheeses: think creamy, spicy, and sharp. Good examples of these would be brie, pepper jack, and a sharp white or bleu. Serve whole, sliced, or chunked.
3. Condiments: here's where we come in. You can't go wrong with any of our jellies when building a charcuterie board. Favorites, though, would have to be Smoked Peach or Blackberry. Both these flavors just adore cured meats and cheeses. A nice grainy mustard always has a place on our charcuterie boards as well.
4. Accents: these include fresh fruit, tangy pickles, nuts, olives...the options are only limited to your taste. Don't like pickles? Leave them off. Don't have any olives? No worries. I personally like grapes and apples on a charcuterie board. Dried figs too (or fresh if they're in season). And, I'll always try and include almonds.
5. Bread/Crackers: what could be better than a crusty baguette with some cheese? Don't eat gluten? There are some amazing gluten-free crackers on the market that work just as well. These not only add some crunch to your board, they also are a convenient edible "plate" as well. One of my favorite snacks growing up was saltine crackers with sliced cheddar...just sayin'
So, for your next gathering or maybe just a random Monday night, get creative in the kitchen and put together your own charcuterie board!