The Making of a Charcuterie Platter
Learn How to Make a Charcuterie Platter with cured meats, a variety of cheeses, nuts, and fruits that will please every palate. There’s nothing better than noshing on a cheese board before a meal.
This Meat and Cheese Board is highly adaptable. If your meal is French, choose French cheeses. If it’s fall, pick autumnal fruit like apples and pears. Every board will be unique.
Why You Must Make
- You can customize a basic cheese board with your favorite meats, cheeses, crackers, and snacks.
- It can be made to coordinate with the theme of your meal or holiday.
- 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.
- There’s something for everyone on a cheese board!
Frequently Asked Questions
The word Charcuterie can be traced back to 15th century France and translates to “the products of a fancy pork butcher.”
Charcuterie is pronounced shar-KOO-tuhr-ee.
It refers to having 3 kinds of cheese, 3 types of meat, 3 starches, and 3 extras. This would include soft and hard cheese in various shapes, sliced deli meats (even smoked salmon will do!), and extras like garnishes, jams, fruit paste, fruit, vegetables, and/or herbs.
The rule of thumb is 3 ounces per person. This can vary depending on the amount of other appetizers you offer, whether there will be a large meal afterward, and if you know your guests have hearty appetites.
How to Make a Charcuterie Board
- Start with choosing the 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 Cheddar or Swiss, one soft like a Brie or Camembert, and one fragrant like blue cheese. Or add just one crowd-pleaser like this Kerrygold Dubliner with Irish Stout as I did here for our family.
- Next, select 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; Capicola, another pork salami that hails from Calabria; and finally smoked duck breast slices.
- The odds and ends were purchased on 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. Olives and pickles are terrific additions, too.
- Use the experts at your favorite market, deli, or specialty shop to help you select 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!
Amounts Needed for Your Board
These recommendations are from America’s Test Kitchen. The amounts will vary depending on whether this is an appetizer before a big meal or whether this actually the meal.
- Cheeses: 2 to 3 ounces per person
- Meats: 2 to 3 ounces per person
- Nuts: 2 to 3 tablespoons per person
- Crackers, toasts, or bread: 4 to 6 ounces per person
- Fruit or Vegetables: 4 to 8 ounces per person
- Dips: ½ cup per person
- Making a cheese and meat board isn’t difficult. Let the meats and cheeses shine. Serve plain bread and crackers.
- Fresh fruits like apples, pears, figs, and grapes pair wonderfully with cheese. Adding dried fruit as well provides a variety of textures.
- Add nuts for some crunch.
- Don’t forget that jams, jellies, and fruit pastes pair deliciously with cheeses.
- Vary shapes and colors for a more visually appealing platter.
- Let your cheese rest at room temperature for an hour before serving for maximum flavor.
- As mentioned above, try to add a variety of textures from hard to soft, brittle to buttery cheeses. A bold-flavored blue or spiced cheese is a lovely touch. Add goat’s milk or sheep’s milk cheese to your cow’s milk selections.
- Take a little time to artfully arrange your charcuterie platter. You’ll be delighted with the results.