Written by Joseph Holevinski, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Senior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)
Whether you call it a charcuterie board, a meat and cheese platter, or even adult “Lunchables”, we can all agree that they are delicious and can really elevate a party. However, if you aren’t prepared, making your own charcuterie board for the first time can be quite daunting.
What cheeses should I pick out? What meats go best with the cheeses? What fruit and spreads would taste good with everything else? Well, I’m here to show you that with a few simple rules in mind, making charcuterie boards can be fun and easy.
Most importantly, obviously, is the cheese. There is a wide variety of cheeses to choose from, all with different preparations, consistencies and some from different animals. A good rule of thumb is to have at least one soft cheese, one crumbly cheese and one in the middle.
The soft cheese is probably the easiest to pick out because there are two main go-to’s for soft cheeses: brie and goat cheese. Brie has a very creamy interior and can be sliced, baked or spread on with a knife. Goat cheese comes in several flavored varieties, such as herb and garlic or cranberry, and can easily be spread onto crackers or fruit.
There are multiple different options for the crumbly cheese. If you are looking for something creamy, go with feta; if you are looking for something pungent, go with a blue cheese; if you are looking for something salty, go with chunks of parmesan.
For the last type of cheese, this is where you can really go in any direction. I recommend nice middle ground cheeses that most people will enjoy like cheddar, gouda, swiss, or Manchego.
For the rest of the accoutrements for the charcuterie board, I would recommend having a few different types of meats. At your local grocery store there usually are pre-packaged slices of salami or you can get your own salami log and slice it.
I also recommend adding crackers. It is a good idea to have a wide selection of different types. I would get a few buttery ones like Ritz or Club crackers, and also some more crisp ones like flatbread crackers or multigrain crackers. I also recommend adding a few dips or spreads such as honey and fruit jams. Great things to add on to give your board some flair are fruit and nuts.
You can really express your creativity when making a charcuterie board and it can be the focal point of any party. Use these rules and your boards will be anything but boring!