The Making of a Charcuterie Platter with cured meats, a variety of cheeses, nuts and fruits provide a nibble that will please every palate. There’s nothing better than noshing on a charcuterie platter before a meal.
Start with Cheese, Then Meats and Accompaniments
Pick out an odd number of cheeses for your charcuterie platter: You may want to try one firm cheese like a cheddar or swiss, one soft like a Brie or Camembert,and one fragrant like a blue cheese. Or add just one crowd pleaser like this Kerrygold Dubliner with Irish Stout as I did here for our family. To accompany the Dubliner, I chose three varieties of cured meats; well, truthfully, I had the experts at Goose the Market pair a few with my cheese. I brought home sliced Italian Toscano salami with a kick; capocolla, another pork salami which hails from Calabria; and finally smoked duck breast slices. The odds and ends were purchased at a recent trip to Zimmerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I added some honeyed pecans, roasted Marcona almonds and Sardinian flatbread along with fresh blackberries and dried apricots.
A cheese tray like this can easily be expanded for a crowd, so it’s perfect for holiday entertaining. Instead of the tedious chore of making three different appetizers, deck out a large cutting board with an irresistible combination of meats and cheeses. Use the experts at your favorite market, deli or specialty shop to help you select the a variety of ingredients that will delight your guests. They are typically delighted to provide samples for you to taste test. You may even find a new favorite!
A Few More Tips for Making A Charcuterie Platter
- Let the meats and cheeses shine. Serve plain breads and crackers.
- Fresh fruits like apples, pears, figs and grapes pair wonderfully with cheeses. I love adding dried fruits, too, for a variety of textures.
- Add nuts for some crunch. Jams, jellies and fruit pastes pair deliciously with cheeses.
- Vary shapes and colors for a more visually appealing platter.
- Let your cheeses rest at room temperature for an hour before serving.
- As mentioned above, try to add a variety of textures from hard to soft, brittle to buttery. A bold flavored blue or spiced cheese is a lovely touch. Add a goat’s milk or sheep’s milk cheese to your cow’s milk selection.
- Take a little time to artfully arrange your charcuterie platter. You’ll be delighted with the results.
Things you may need to help assemble this cheese board:
I am a huge fan of Kerrygold butters and cheeses. Made of milk from grass-fed Irish dairy cows and made in the US, their quality products are unrivaled. To find Kerrygold products in your area, use this Store Locator.
Disclosure: Kerrygold supplied me with a variety of butters and cheeses. I was not compensated for writing this post and the opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kerrygold.