Charcuterie Board Basics

Charcuterie boards can be the perfect compliment before serving a meal. With a variety of flavors and ingredients, these boards will please all guests.


Amelia McCrory

A sample charcuterie board.

Amelia McCrory, Columnist

Need an appetizer for your next big event? Charcuterie boards are the perfect solution as they cater to all tastes and preferences. According to Mom On Timeout, charcuterie is the act of preparing cured or smoked meats. A charcuterie board can possibly include a wide spread of meat, cheeses, specific fruits and vegetables, nuts, and crackers. Below are tips, tricks, as well as a salami rose tutorial to help you construct the charcuterie board of your dreams!

Tips to Follow

  • Prepare the appropriate amount for the size of the group to avoid leftovers or a shortage. Bristol Farms suggests three ounces of meat and cheese per person.
  • Form meats and cheeses into different shapes in order to add a variety of textures to the board. In my example above, I formed the salami into roses and cubed the cheese.
  • For visual presentation, add bowls and serving utensils to incorporate height.
  • Add a variety of color, through vegetables and fruit. Don’t just stick with cheeses and meats.
  • Prepare the board within half an hour of serving to avoid the food drying out.

Best Ingredients

Midwest Foodie Blog recommends salami, prosciutto, and sliced deli ham for the choices of meats. Salami and prosciutto are great options due to their unique look as well as for adding contrast to the board. Likewise, deli ham can be a great cheap alternative, and may even be in your fridge. For cheeses, blue cheese, aged cheddar, gouda, goat cheese, and Havarti will pair the best with the meats. If you would like to add additional ingredients, crackers, dried fruit, nuts, olives, jelly or jam, and pretzel sticks will complement well. The best veggies range from tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper and celery. Try cutting these vegetables in different shapes to add to the presentation of the charcuterie board.

Salami Rose Tutorial

Below is the charcuterie salami rose tutorial. You will need a wine glass and around 12-15 pieces of sliced circular meat. Adding these to your board can enhance the presentation and texture.

  1. Using a wine glass, place pieces of salami flooding over the top of the rim making sure they  slightly overlap.
  2. Add another layer of salami windowing the first layer.
  3. Repeat those steps until you can see a small hole in the glass.
  4. Flip the glass over and gently pull the rose away from the glass, and serve on the charcuterie board.

    A tutorial for making salami roses. (Jolie Flack via Canva)

Overall, by implementing the best ingredients and tips, you will be left with an elevated charcuterie board to have for any occasion.