The holidays are coming up, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with charcuterie. It goes perfectly with dinner or as an attractive appetizer for a late-night holiday get-together. Here’s how you can impress your friends and make the most scrumptious-looking charcuterie possible!
Go With A Custom-Made Charcuterie Board
When it comes to charcuterie, presentation is everything. A well-made charcuterie starts with an impressive serving board. You can have a handcrafted board made and personalized for you by the Rustix workshop in a size that will keep your party well-fed. Our boards also make great gifts!
We make our charcuterie boards from maple or walnut, and stain them in the hue of your choice. What makes a Rustix serving board great is that we only use food-grade stains to protect the wood. You and your guests can enjoy the meats, cheeses, and fruits without worrying about chemicals leeching off the board.
Choose Your Favourite Offerings
Of course, you can’t just sit around and admire the board – you also have to feed your guests! A good charcuterie board has a well-chosen variety of flavours that complement one another. Your options are almost endless, but a typical charcuterie has the following:
- Baguette or crackers: Ideally, you’ll have more than one type of carb on which your guests can pile their favourite toppings. Toasted baguette is better for dipping!
- Cheeses: You can include anything from blocks of cheddar to a log of goat cheese to baked brie. Go wild and choose something that few might have tried before but will agree with other options. For example, the Spanish manchego goes perfectly with Medjool dates.
- Cured meats: Some favourites include salami, chorizo, prosciutto, and kielbasa. You can also include paté, ham, and even bacon!
- Dips: Dipping baguette or crusty bread into an olive oil dip is always a favourite.
- Dried Fruit: Dates, figs, and sun-dried fruit taste great with cheese. Fresh fruit like grapes and berries are great as well but don’t include fresh, tart fruits – they’re too acidic!
- Nuts: Spiced nuts are preferred for holiday charcuterie, but as long as it goes with the other food, pick your favourites!
- Jelly: Red pepper jelly is a staple, but consider including unique flavours. Local markets will have a wide variety of different jellies, chutneys, relish, and honey for you and your guests to try.
- Olives: Also consider an antipasto that mixes olives, artichokes, cured meat, pepperoncini, and cheese.
If you have several charcuterie options you want to try, present them as courses (e.g. make them both the appetizer and dessert). You could also have a bigger board made to fit everything!
Organize The Food
Now it’s time for the fun part: laying out the spread! Like we mentioned earlier, presentation is everything. Many people choose to go with the “concentric circle” model. Start in the centre by setting three or four small bowls of olives, antipasto, jelly, or olive oil for dipping. Next, layout your meats, cheeses, fruits, and nuts, mixing it up as you move around the bowls in the centre. Arrange around all this the sliced baguette and crackers.
It doesn’t have to be this way, however. You can meticulously arrange it in weird geometric patterns or keep everything in straight lines. A well-made charcuterie board just means having everything neat and organized before you and your guests attack it!