What to learn how to create the perfect holiday charcuterie board? Check out the details below! It's easy, fun, and you can add whatever you like!
It's that time of year! The time of year where charcuterie boards reign for both parties and small gatherings. I think that I can speak for us all when I say that we all enjoy a lovely and creative charcuterie board. Especially with sangria or your favorite wine! (Try this Holly Jolly Christmas Sangria with your charcuterie board - it's PERFECT. CLICK HERE)
So let's get started. You're scrolling through instagram and a beautiful holiday charcuterie board gets your attention. You think to yourself - "whoa, that's so pretty! How do I do that?!". Well, it's really easy. Also, spoiler alert - YOU CAN USE WHATEVER YOU WANT! Charcuterie boards are meant to be enjoyed. There's a formula, but this is meant for you to be creative. See below.
what is a charcuterie board?
A charcuterie board is a board/display of (typically) dried and fresh fruits, nuts, crackers, cured meats, and best of all - cheese! Charcuterie boards are also paired with wine. I mean, it's the best of both worlds. My husband and I usually use leftovers in our fridge at the end of the week to make charcuterie boards for dinner, especially on days when we don't feel like cooking. It's easy, fun, and a nice way to prevent wasting food.
"Charcuterie" is a French word that literally translates to "Pork-Butcher Shop". However, like I mentioned above, you can add whatever you like to your board.
what ingredients should I use?
While constructing your board, you want to think of the event that you're making it for. In this instance, the holidays. Given the theme, I wanted to use seasonal products such as kumquats as well as cured meats that I enjoy such as proscuitto and salami.
One you have a theme in mind, you can get started. I like to pick 2-3 cheeses, 2 different kinds of nuts, 3-4 different fresh fruits, 2-3 cured meats, and then something sweet (peanut butter cups pictured here). In addition, I like to include something that's naturally salty. Here, I used the peanut butter filled pretzels that really go so well with everything if you want something that's salty and not as sweet as the peanut butter cups.
I also used La Panzanella Crackers to accompany this board. These came in handy because my board has a lot of flavors that complimented these crackers so well! The rosemary flavor paired perfectly with the cheddar cheese and salami with a little bit of honey drizzle (I like savory and sweet flavors). In addition, the original flavor was PERFECT with proscuitto, almonds, and cheese. We in charcuterie board heaven!
what types of cheese should I use for the perfect holiday charcuterie board?
I like to mix up cheeses bit. A mild cheese, a sharp cheese, and a light cheese. Examples of mild cheeses are harvati, mild cheddar, camambert, and typically any cheese that's made from cow's milk. Sharp cheeses include sharp cheddar, gouda (my faovrite), parmigiano reggiano, and blue cheese (my other favorite). Light cheeses include cheeses like mozzarella and cottage cheese.
what kind of nuts should i use?
Almonds, pistachios, peanuts, and cashews are my personal favorite! However, I also recommend brazil nuts, walnuts, and pecans depending on the type of wine that you're drinking.
what about fruits and cured meats?
This the fun part! I like pairing sweet and salty flavors so that fruits and meats used are important. Proscuitto and salami are my favorites. You can also use chorizo, boudin, pate, mousses, jambon! As for fresh fruit, ALL THE BERRIES! Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, bosenberries - you get the pictures. Any dried fruit works as well (dried mangoes, raisins, prunes, dried apircots, etc). Also, citrus fruits like blood oranges and grapefruit can be nice as well if you like something a little different. Also, I highly recommend using citrus if you're adding chocolate to your holiday charcuterie board.
do you add sweets to charcuterie boards?
YES! I added peanut butter cups to this board, but you can add whatever you like! Chocolate covered pretzels, cookies, candies - feel free to get creative.