Charcuterie 101: A Beginner's Guide to Charcuterie Board
Whether capping off the week or celebrating a special occasion, your wine night can be made extra fancy by a well curated charcuterie board. Charcuterie (pronounced as “shar-koo-tuh-ree”) came from the French words chair (“flesh”) and cuit (“cooked”) and refers to the arrangement of various cured meats from hard, thin-sliced cuts, to soft spreads. It’s also used to describe the shops in France that sell these kinds of meats.
Believe it or not, preparing a charcuterie board is not that hard. The key is to create balance between your board’s components: your soft and hard cheeses, your cured meats and salamis, your crackers and breads, your dips and spreads, and your other finger foods.
Sounds simple, right? But actually choosing your own additions and pairings while considering their distinct flavors and textures, can still be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to give you the ultimate cheat sheet for your charcuterie board!
Let’s start with your board’s components.
Remember to serve your soft or semi-soft cheeses with a cheese knife and only unwrap them just before serving. Cut your firm or hard cheeses into ¼-inch slices and crumble your solid cheeses into bite sizes.
Salami, ham, pepperoni, and Iberico ham work well with hard cheeses. Salchichón, chorizo, prosciutto, and Fuet sausages, on the other hand, are perfect with semi-soft cheeses.
Crackers and Breads
Crackers and breads are your board’s neutralizers to offset the strong flavors of different cheeses and meats. Grain crackers work well with soft cheeses while breads are perfect with fresh, soft, and spreadable cheeses.
Spreads and dips also bring out the flavor of cheeses and cold cuts. Serve a dollop of honey or pesto sauce, or add a small bowl of balsamic vinegar and olive oil for your breads.
Fruits like apples, oranges, and strawberries can balance the richness of cheeses and the saltiness of cold cuts.
Don’t forget to use this handy guide for your portions!
- 2 types of cold cuts (not exceeding to 1 cup)
- 3-4 types of cheeses (½ cup each)
- 10 pieces of crackers or 12 slices of baguette (toasted)
- 1 small bowl of dip
- 1 small bowl of spread or jam
- 1-2 types of seasonal fruits
Crisp, white wines like our Alkoomi Rose or The Ned Sauvignon Blanc are perfect for any charcuterie. The bright acidity of our red wines like the Massolino washes away the saltiness and fats of the cold cuts and provides a refreshing after taste.
For more selections of charcuterie must haves and pairings, visit https://thetastefulselections.com.