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How To Arrange A Charcuterie Board To Make It Aesthetic

How To Arrange A Charcuterie Board To Make It Aesthetic

How To Arrange A Charcuterie Board To Make It Aesthetic

A charcuterie board is a great way to show off your culinary skills and impress your guests. It can also be a fun project to do with friends or family. Charcuterie can be gourmet-fancy, simple, or a mix of both. There’s no cooking involved – it’s more of a buy-and-assemble type of food preparation. This makes it perfect for last-minute party decisions or sudden afternoon chit-chat with friends. 

Don’t let the posh term intimidate you from putting together your own charcuterie board. You just have to master the basics, and then you can put your own twist on it as you learn more about how to assemble a charcuterie board.

In this article, we will discuss how to arrange a charcuterie board in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to follow. So, whether you are an experienced cook or just starting out, read on for some tips on how to create the perfect charcuterie board!

How To Arrange A Charcuterie Board

The first step in putting together an aesthetically pleasing charcuterie board is to put together the ingredients you wish to use. There is a wide variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and other items that can be used in charcuterie boards. It is important to have a variety of colors, textures, and flavors to create an interesting and appetizing board.

Next, you will need to choose a charcuterie board or platter. The size of the board will depend on how many ingredients you have and how many people you plan on serving. It is important to have a charcuterie board that is large enough to fit all of the ingredients but not too large that it looks sparse. Wooden boards are a popular choice for charcuterie, but any type of board or platter can be used.

Once you have gathered all of your ingredients and chosen a board, it is time to start assembling your charcuterie! Here are some tips on how to do so:

Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Charcuterie Board

It’s easy to forget that there is a professional way to prepare a wooden charcuterie board. Not only should it look good, but it needs to be sanitized properly too. To make sure your food is prepared correctly, follow these steps:

  • Put some soap on a cloth and rub the whole board with it.
  • Rinse lightly with running water.
  • Use either lemon juice or white vinegar to rub the surface of the board.
  • Sprinkle coarse salt, such as sea salt, over the board. Either lemon juice or white vinegar can be used to rub it together. At least 15 minutes should pass.
  • Rinse. Air dry or towel dry.
  • (Optional) Polish the wood with any oil-like substance that you can eat, like beeswax.
  • If you don’t want food to stick to the board, you can put parchment paper on top of it. This is also optional.

Board Size to Food Quantity Ratio

An easy way to make sure your charcuterie board is Instagram-worthy is by considering the size of the board in comparison to how much food you’ll be putting on it.

The amount of charcuterie you put on your presentation board is important- too little, and it looks cheap, but too much makes it look cluttered.

With that being said, charcuterie boards aren’t constrained by any set of guidelines. So, there is no precise proportion rule between the size of the board and the amount of charcuterie food. Ultimately, you will be the one to “eye” that ideal balance.

That said, there are a couple of guidelines that can help you out:

  1. You can adjust how much food you put on the board, but the board cannot be adjusted. It will remain within 9×13 inches to 12×18 inches, so choose your foods wisely. Round boards are anywhere between 12 inches all the way up to 26 inches in diameter, and there is no definitive size since it would highly depend on how many guests are coming, the food quantity, and how you arrange the food.
  2. Underestimating how much food your guests will eat is a common mistake. Always allow for leftovers by budgeting extra servings of protein (meat), which tend to be the most expensive part of the meal. A good rule of thumb is 5 ounces per person, but if you’re serving charcuterie as an appetizer, 2 ounces per person should suffice.

Start With The Cheese

If you’re not sure how to start your charcuterie board, a great tip is to begin with the cheese.

This is because cheese is one of the most versatile ingredients on a charcuterie board. It can be eaten alone or with other foods, and it comes in a wide variety of flavors, textures, and colors.

When choosing cheese for your charcuterie board, it is important to select a variety of types. This will give your guests different options to choose from and will make your board more interesting. Some popular choices include:

Hard Cheese: Cut firm cheeses into uniform, thin slices. Create a criss-cross or diagonal arrangement with the sliced cheese. Some examples of hard cheese include:

  • Gouda
  • Parmesan
  • Cheddar
  • Asiago
  • Provolone

Semi-Hard Cheese: Cut semi-hard cheeses into small bite-sized pieces. Place them randomly on the board. Some examples of semi-hard cheese include:

  • Havarti
  • Gruyere
  • Jarlsberg
  • Port Salut

Soft Cheese: Soft cheeses can be spread with a knife or cut into small bite-sized pieces. Place them randomly on the board. Some examples of soft cheese include:

  • Brie
  • Goat Cheese
  • Roquefort
  • Ricotta
  • Gorgonzola

You can also include a variety of cheeses in different textures, such as:

  • Creamy
  • Crumbly
  • Elastic
  • Smooth
  • Stringy

And in different flavors, such as:

  • Salty
  • Sweet
  • Spicy
  • Nutty
  • Pungent

It is also important to consider the color of the cheese when creating your charcuterie board. Try to include a variety of light, dark, and bright-colored cheeses. This will make your board more visually appealing.

Follow Up With The Meats

After you’ve arranged the cheese on your charcuterie board, it is time to add the meat.

When choosing meat for your charcuterie board, it is important to select a variety of types. This will give your guests different options to choose from and will make your board more interesting.

Some examples of cured meats that go well on charcuterie boards include:

  • Jamon Iberico
  • Prosciutto
  • Salami
  • Chorizo
  • Pepperoni
  • Soppressata

When cutting meat for your charcuterie board, it is important to cut it into small bite-sized pieces. This will make it easier for your guests to eat and will prevent them from making a mess.

  • Round cured meats: To achieve a ruffle with round meats like salami, fold each piece into quarters or halves, then arrange them all together.
  • Thinly sliced cured meats: Meats like prosciutto that are thin and irregularly shaped are lightly scrunched together to form a sort of rosette structure.

Whether you put the meat between, in the center, or on the side of your cheeses, make sure they are always close to each other.

Don’t Forget The Carbs

Carbs are an important part of any charcuterie board. They provide a crunchy texture and can help to balance out the flavors of the cheese and meat.

Some examples of carbs that go well on charcuterie boards include:

  • Breadsticks
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Chips
  • Focaccia
  • Ciabatta
  • Baguettes
  • Croissants

When cutting carbs for your charcuterie board, it is important to cut them into small bite-sized pieces. This will make it easier for your guests to eat and will prevent them from making a mess.

Fill In The Rest Of The Charcuterie Board With Jams, Sauces, Nuts, Fruits, and/or Vegetables

After you’ve added the cheese, meat, and carbs to your charcuterie board, it is time to fill in the rest of the space with jams, sauces, nuts, fruits, and/or vegetables.

When choosing these ingredients for your charcuterie board, it is important to select a variety of types. This will give your guests different options to choose from and will make your board more interesting.

Some examples of jams, sauces, nuts, fruits, and vegetables that go well on charcuterie boards include:

Jams:

  • Apricot jam
  • Blueberry jam
  • Strawberry jam

Sauces:

  • Honey mustard
  • Dijon mustard
  • Tapenade

Nuts:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts

Fruits:

  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries

Vegetables:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Peppers

Make your charcuterie board pop by mixing and matching food items with widely different colors. Or, go for a more simplistic look by grouping together foods that are the same color (example: all red fruits like cherries, grapes, apples, strawberries, etc.).

Refrigerate The Charcuterie Board

Your charcuterie board will taste best if you refrigerate it and then take the elements out 30 to 45 minutes before your party starts. This allows the food to reach room temperature, so your guests can fully enjoy the flavors of the board.

This is pretty much it. The rest is up to your own creativity and how you want to arrange everything on the board. Be creative, have fun, and enjoy!

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