What Goes With A Charcuterie Board? (Cold Cuts, Cheese ++)

Charcuterie boards are becoming more popular than ever before. They are a great way to showcase your meats and cheeses, and they look nice too.

Here are what goes with Charcuterie Board:

  • Cold cuts, including ham, sausage, salami, bresaola, prosciutto, mortadella, pepperoni, pancetta, capicola, bacon, etc.
  • Cheese. This could be cheese platter, cheeses, cheddar, Goudas, blue, goat, etc.
  • Bread and crackers. These would typically be sliced baguettes, crostini, pita chips, tortilla chips, etc.
  • Desserts. This could be fruit, cookies, cakes, pies, jams, jellies, etc.
  • And many more.
What Goes With A Charcuterie Board? (Cold Cuts, Cheese ++)

This article will go over what items should go on a charcuterie board.

What is a Charcuterie Board?

It is just a collection of types of meats and a variety of cheese that you have prepared for guests. It’s the meat version of the cheese board and is usually served at the beginning or end of a meal.

You can make it as simple or elaborate as you like. Some people use them as appetizers while others serve them as main courses.

You can also add some bread, crackers, fruits, vegetables, etc., depending on how much time you spend preparing it.

Why Should I Have a Charcuterie Board?

charcuterie board
Charcuterie Board. Credit: canva

So why should you have it at your next party? Here are three reasons:

  1. It’s elegant and impressive.
  2. It’s a great conversation starter.
  3. It’s easy to customize for any palate

Why is it Called Charcuterie?

The word “charcuterie” has been around since the Middle Ages. It originally meant something like “cured meat,” but it refers to any cured meat in modern times.

It comes from the French word “char,” which means cooked. So, when someone says, “I’m making a charcuterie board,” they mean that they’re cooking up all their meats and cheeses.

What is a Traditional Charcuterie Board?

What Goes With A Charcuterie Board? (Cold Cuts, Cheese ++)
Traditional Charcuterie Board. Credit: canva

There are many different choices, so not everyone looks the same.

But there are some things that must be included.

  1. A selection of cold cuts, including ham, sausage, salami, bresaola, prosciutto, mortadella, pepperoni, pancetta, capicola, bacon, etc.
  2. A selection of cheese. This could be cheese platter, cheeses, cheddar, Goudas, blue, goat, etc.
  3. Bread and crackers. These would typically be sliced baguettes, crostini, pita chips, tortilla chips, etc.
  4. Desserts. This could be fruit, cookies, cakes, pies, jams, jellies, etc.
  5. Pickles and olives.
  6. Vegetables.
  7. Sauces.
  8. Condiments.
  9. Wine and beer.
  10. Other stuff.

Well, first of all, it’s delicious! Second, it’s pretty easy to prepare. And lastly, it’s very versatile.

What Goes with Charcuterie Board?

Here are some examples:

Ham

What Goes With A Charcuterie Board? (Cold Cuts, Cheese ++)
Charcuterie board with assorted meat. Credit: canva

Ham is often the star of the board because it looks good and tastes delicious. Ham is always a safe bet.

Bacon

Bacon is another favorite variety of meat. It adds flavor and texture to almost anything.

Salami

Salami is a type of cured pork sausage. There are many varieties of salami, including pepperoni, hot Italian sausage, Italian salami, Calabrese salami, dry salami, and smoked ham.

Cheese

Cheese is a must-have item. Some of the best cheese for this dish include:

  • Hard or sharp cheese: chunks of parmesan, aged gouda, asiago
  • Firmer cheese: Gruyere, Comte, manchego, Colby, cheddar
  • Semi-soft cheese: havarti, butterkäse, muenster, Brie cheese
  • Soft cheese: burrata, mascarpone, stracchino, cream cheese, and Fresh Mozzarella
  • Blue cheese: gorgonzola, Dunbarton blue, marbled blue jack
  • Crumbly cheese: feta, soft goat cheese
charcuterie broad
Charcuterie Board. Credit: canva

Smoked Turkey

Smoked turkey is a classic choice with subtle flavor. It’s easy to prepare and pairs well with most dishes.

Liver Pate

Liver pâté is an excellent addition. It’s made from pig liver and flavored with herbs and spices.

Pork Rinds

Pork rinds are crispy strips of dried pork skin. They come in various flavors, such as apple cider vinegar, garlic, and onion.

Pork Sausage

Pork sausage is a popular option. It’s usually seasoned with sage and rosemary.

Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are a traditional choice. They’re perfect for dipping in sauces.

Sour Cream 

Sour cream is a creamy dairy product. It’s commonly paired with chicken, but it’s also delicious on its own.

Chutney

Chutney is a spicy Indian condiment. You can find chutneys at grocery stores or online.

Pickles

Pickles are an excellent accompaniment to meats. They add tanginess and spice to your platters.

Some of the best pickles are cornichons, dill cucumbers, gherkins, green beans, radishes, and watermelon rinds.

Cucumber

Cucumbers are refreshing and light. They go well with sandwiches and salads.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a common ingredient. They provide a nice contrast to salty meats.

Olives 

Olives are a staple of Mediterranean cuisine. They pair well with meats and cheeses.

Onions

Onions are one of the most basic ingredients. They add a lot of flavor without being overpowering.

Mustard

Mustard is a classic pairing with meats. It kicks them.

Horseradish

Horseradish is a root vegetable that grows underground. It’s used primarily in cooking.

Herbs

Herbs are fragrant plants that grow in the ground. They’re often added to soups and stews.

The most popular herbs used are basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, marjoram, rosemary, mint, bay leaves, fig spread, and tarragon.

Pepper Jelly

Pepper jelly is a sweet and spicy spread that comes in jars. It’s typically served alongside meats and cheeses.

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is a thick sauce that’s generally served with fish. It’s very similar to salad dressing.

Vinegar

Vinegar is a sour liquid that’s produced by fermenting fruit juices. It’s often used to season food.

Condiments

Condiments like ketchup, mustard, relish, honey mustard, spicy mustard, and salsa are excellent choices. These items add flavor and color to foods.

Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruits like apples, oranges, peaches, strawberries, and bananas are a fantastic way to finish off the dish.

You can also serve fruit spreads from fresh berries, grapes, melon, pineapple, and kiwi to some seasoned fruit such as figs or apricots.

Wine and Beer

You can serve wine and beer along, too. However, wine is best suited for lighter foods, while beer works better with heavier items.

Other Items

Besides meats and cheeses, you may want to include other things on your platter.

For example, nuts, olives, pickled vegetables, Graham crackers, bread, and desserts are all options. A little bowl of honey with a honey dipper might also do the trick.

How to Make a Charcuterie Board?

making charcuterie
Preparation of Charcuterie. CreditL canva

What to Consider when Planning a Charcuterie Board

  • How many people do you want to serve? If you’re serving only two people, you don’t need much. But if you have a large group, then you’ll probably need a lot. So consider all ideas.
  • Where you’re going to place the board? Are you going to put it in the middle of the table? Or maybe on one side of the table? In either case, make sure that you know where everything will be placed so that everyone has enough time to eat their food.
  • You might also want to consider using different types of plates. This makes it easier for guests to pick up their food.
  • You may also want to consider adding some bread. Some people like to add bread. If you choose to include bread, make sure that you slice it thin enough to get soggy.
  • Also, you’ll want to make sure that you have plenty of napkins.

Finally, you’ll want to consider any other foods that you plan on serving. For

How to Arrange a Charcuterie Board?

The best way to serve is buffet style. That means you set out everything on one big table so everyone can help themselves. If you do this, make sure to have plenty of napkins available.

You can use a cutting board, ceramic platters, or even a cake stand for the serving board. You can also use a tray or basket.

When arranging your buffet-style, start at the top left corner. Then, with a rectangular or square board, align mild to bold meats and cheeses from left to right. 

Place the largest piece of meat there. Then move down to the right, placing smaller pieces of meat and cheese. Continue until you reach the bottom.

If you don’t want to set up a full buffet, try serving each course individually. For example, put out some bread, then meat, followed by cheese pairings, and finish with pickles or olives.

Tips for Building a Charcuterie Board:

Here are some tips:

  1. Start with quality ingredients. You don’t want to start with cheap cuts of meat or low-quality cheeses.
  2. Choose a variety of flavors. Include both solid and mild tastes.
  3. Serve something for everyone. Everyone likes different kinds of food. So make sure that you have a wide range of items.
  4. Use complementary colors. Red wine and white wine go well together because they share similar flavors. The same applies to dark and light-colored foods. However, you can add little pops of color, as long as not too contrasting.
  5. Don’t forget the basics. Bread and butter are always good additions. They provide texture as well as flavor.
  6. Keep it simple. Remember, less is more. So try to keep it simple.
  7. Have fun! Think about what kind of mood you’d like to make. Do you want to be festive? Romantic? Relaxed?
  8. Make it seasonal. If you live in an area with lots of local farms, you should consider including fresh produce from those farms.
  9. Be creative. There’s no limit to how many ways you can arrange–as long as you follow these guidelines.
  10. Enjoy! This is just the beginning of a beautiful meal. Once you’ve finished eating, you can relax and enjoy the rest of your party.

FAQs

How do you serve a charcuterie?

It is typically served buffet style. That means that all components are laid out on a large table. Guests help themselves.

What should I bring to a charcuterie party?

Bring a bottle of red wine or water if you prefer.

What kind of meat goes on a charcuterie board?

You can use almost anything. However, we recommend using meats that are high in fat content. These include beef, pork, lamb, duck, goose, and turkey.

What kind of jam goes on a cheese board?

We suggest making your jams. This will ensure that you get precisely the right amount of sweetness and tartness.

How much does a charcuterie cost?

They can vary in price depending on the size of the board, the number of guests, and the type of food included. However, prices usually run between $20-$50 per person.

If this is an appetizer, plan for a 2 oz total of meats and cheeses per person. 

Related Topics

Can You Make a Charcuterie Board Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can make it ahead of time by assembling the ingredients and storing them in the fridge.

However, I recommend assembling the board just before serving because the meats and cheeses will start to dry out and lose their flavor if they’re stored for too long.

What Does Charcuterie Mean Literally?

Charcuterie comes from the French word “char,” which means cooked. So, when someone says, “I’m making a charcuterie board,” they mean that they’re cooking up all their meats and cheeses.

What Is the Difference Between a Cheese Board and a Charcuterie Board?

The main difference is that charcuterie boards usually include cooked meats, while cheese boards do not.

They can also be more elaborate than cheese boards, often including a variety of cured meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, and other snacks.

How Many Cheeses Should Be on a Cheese Board?

There is no set number of cheeses that should be on a cheese board, but I typically recommend 3-5 different kinds. This will give your guests a good variety to choose from without overwhelming them.