Whether you’re entertaining or have no time to cook, a charcuterie board can become an alternative for you or your guests. Or it can also be something for a date night. Whatever it is, all you need to do is prepare it with cheeses, meats, fruits, and other ingredients. Then, serve it with wine and other refreshments.

So, in this article, know what a charcuterie board is, which ones to buy, and what to include in a charcuterie board. Plus, check out inspirations from other foodies as well. 

What is a Charcuterie Board?

A charcuterie board is a type of platter or wooden board to assemble cheeses and cured meats. It’s not limited to cheeses and meats, though, since other foodies would eat it with fruits, vegetables, and nuts as well.

Charcuterie is a French word. According to Serious Eats, chair means meat and cuit is cooked.

When Do You Eat a Charcuterie Board?

Most would assemble a charcuterie board and serve it at a party or small gathering. But you can eat it as a snack too or perhaps have it as a meal. After all, you can add fruits, vegetables, and bread. This makes it more nutritious.

And for any occasion, you can pair it with either a bottle of red or white wine.

Best Charcuterie Boards to Buy

Don’t settle for a long platter at home to use as your charcuterie board. Make it presentable when you serve it for guests. Or prepare one for yourself after a long day at work or in the weekend. Get these charcuterie boards to impress your guests or to store them at home.

Slate 20” x 12” Cheese Board

This slate cheese board is one of the favorites of many foodies. It’s all because of the presentation. It makes the cheese and other ingredients look better because of the texture and aesthetic. It also has a felt backing, which won’t leave a mark on the table or a hard surface.

You can even write on the charcuterie board, too, by using chalk. It’s so you can add a label to what you’re serving.

To keep its quality intact, you can only hand wash it.

You can buy this from Crate and Barrel.

Pricing: $29.95

Olive Wood Rustic Cutting Board

This one from West Elm doubles as a cutting and charcuterie board. So, serve your charcuterie uncut or unsliced ingredients and prepare a knife for you and your guests to share. Each piece is different because of the natural wood grain. So, you could say you’ll have a unique board at home.

Get your own Olive Wood Rustic Cutting Board from West Elm.

Pricing: $53.55

Agate Cheese Board

Class up your charcuterie by buying this one from Anthropologie. Aside from the Agate Stone, the gold edges give it its stylish look. No one piece that looks the same because of the different cuts.

It also comes in five different colors, so choose among white quartz, dyed blue, green, rose quartz, and amethyst.

Some buyers use this for other purposes, but it’s good to know that it’s sturdy and it has rubber pads. You can be sure it won’t leave any marks on tables or cabinets.

You can get this cheese board from Anthropologie.

Pricing: $78.00

What to Add To Your Charcuterie Board?

As previously mentioned, you can put cheese and meat on the board. But what types of cheeses and meats are served on the charcuterie board? Plus, what else can you add there?

Make sure to slice your cheeses and meats and arrange them whatever way you want them presented. This way, you could maximize the space and add more food items to the board.

In some cases, some cheeses, meats, and vegetables go well together. It’s best that you combine all of these ingredients for you to enjoy your charcuterie board.

Cheese

One other term for a charcuterie board is a cheese board. And one is never complete without a variety of cheeses to enjoy. Call Me PMC recommends that you need to have soft and hard cheeses. Plus, make sure for those who love and hate certain cheeses, you could offer a “neutral” one. Also, when serving the cheese, make sure to have different knives for each one.

The most popular cheeses are: 

  • Manchego
  • Burrata
  • Cheddar
  • Brie
  • Blue Cheese

Meats

You have different choices for cured meats available. But, if you’re drinking with a glass of wine, it’s best to pair the meat with the right wine. Plus, it’s best to mix up spicy meats with sweet ones.

Here are some of the popular choices for meat:

  • Salami (Soppressata, which is another kind of salami)
  • Prosciutto
  • Ham
  • Chorizo
  • Bresaola

Vegetables

Don’t miss out on eating your veggies, even if you’re snacking alone or with guests. Include these tasty veggies in your charcuterie board:

  • Cornichon
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato

Some would add fruits (dried fruit, preferred) and nuts as well. Blackberries, grapes, and apricots are some of the examples you can add to your board.

Bread

Don’t forget to add crackers or bread to your board. These complement the ingredients served on the platter or board. 

The best type of bread to add to a charcuterie board is a baguette. Think of it as paying homage to its roots. Plus, it will work well with the spreads you’ll read below. According to Home Made Simple, a ciabatta or rye are also excellent choices.

Crackers are another option if bread isn’t available. Buy those that pair well with cheese like Wheat Thins or Sea Salt Crackers.

Spreads

Since you need bread on the charcuterie board, of course, you should add spreads too. You could choose between the savory ones like Pâté or Rilettes. But if you like something sweet, jams are the way to go. You could also add dips like hummus, ranch, and balsamic.

Inspirational Charcuterie Ideas

You don’t have to eat off a charcuterie board with only cheese and meat. After all, you can have toast, vegetables, fruits, and nuts as well. You can have a combination of ALL of those things, for example. But here are the best charcuterie ideas to get inspiration from.

Sweet Lizzy

Assemble a dairy-free charcuterie board inspired by Sweet Lizzy. Among its many ingredients, it has cranberries, grapes, olives, chips, and crackers, and a honey dip. Learn how to assemble it here.

Ambitious Kitchen

Prepare a charcuterie board perfect for vegans and non-vegans. You’ll need two boards for this one to avoid mixing food. Plus, you could add props such as flag markers, so your guests will know which cheese or meat is which. Check out the spread here and try it for yourself.

The Modern Proper

Create a charcuterie spread inspired by the favorites of past presidents. FDR, Washington, and Jefferson are some of the presidents included here and know what their favorite foods were. Enjoy this charcuterie board while learning history here.