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Charcuterie Corner

Thank you so much for taking our Charcuterie Class! 
We hope you enjoyed it!

This hidden page is accessible only by the link we gave you in class and we wanted to utilize it as a way to give you access to a collection of helpful charcuterie tips and information.  Some of the information here we touched on in class however, there is only so much we can fit into the class and there is so much great info. scattered across the web.  We thought this would be a great way to share things we have come across for you to enjoy as well and will continue to update with more great information!

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Charcuterie 101

Charcuterie Tips & Information from...


Getting Skilled


From deli salami to artisanal aged hams, the ultimate charcuterie board is a colorful array of cured and preserved meats. The French word charcuterie (pronounced "shahr-ku-tuh-ree") literally translates to “cooked flesh,” particularly pork. In this technique, first created by the Romans, then adopted by the French, butchers or charcutiers would make sausage, pates, and other force-meats to preserve fresh cuts before the age of refrigeration and even to use up the less savory cuts typically reserved for those of the lower-status peasantry.

These days, charcuterie has evolved past practicality into an art form widely embraced by social media, and you can see millions of beautifully arranged boards with one simple search. The traditionally cured force-meats now sit alongside gourmet cheeses, surrounded by tiny jars of jams and pickles, and covered with crackers, fruits, and vegetables.

So, how can you build the ultimate cheese and charcuterie board for yourself?

Creating the best charcuterie board means looking at all of the components, from the meats, cheeses, and spreads. You need to find the perfect balance between salty and sweet, crisp and savory, acidic and umami. Presentation is key to making the charcuterie board a party centerpiece. All of these components are explored below, and, as a bonus, we will also look at how to theme your charcuterie board to make it stand out and taste delicious.


Building Your Charcuterie Board












The ultimate charcuterie board should first be consumed by the eyes. The bountiful charcuterie boards of social media all have a few things in common: they contain elements of variety, contrast, and texture. To build a board like the pros, you need all three of these components on your charcuterie board.


Variety ensures that your board includes a little something for every palette. This applies not only to the main meat and cheese components but to your wine choice as well. You cannot create the ultimate board without a decent selection of food and wine.

Contrast is essential for balance. Complementary flavors entice the palate. Your accompaniments play a key role in creating contrast. For example, the bright acidity of a cornichon cuts straight through the salty, fattiness of prosciutto.

Texture may not seem significant, but a lot of textural food pairings are classic for a reason. Humans love a well-composed bite of food. Too many soft and gooey cheeses, or an abundance of sliced meats with nothing to spread, could result in a boring presentation and one-note flavor.


Now, keeping in mind these three components, here are a few popular charcuterie board items.


























A Feast for the Eyes


Channel your inner decorator when bringing the pieces together on your charcuterie board. If you don’t have a designated board for cheese and meat, do not despair. The humble cutting board is easily transformed when covered with your selections.

As you build your board, start with the largest components, and work your way down to the smallest. This will ensure that you have space for the stars of the show (i.e. meats and cheeses). Next, come the crackers and condiments. Finally, use the smallest components as decoration, sprinkling a few almonds across the board or strategically placing bundles of grapes for contrasting color and flavor.

Sliced Meats
Sliced meats, such as salami, prosciutto, cured ham, mortadella, soppressata, and pepperoni, are a crucial part of a charcuterie board. They are the finger food portion of your board and can be wrapped around a piece of cheese or paired with an apple for contrast.

Spreadable Meats
If you are looking to upgrade your board and impress your guests, try adding some spreadable pates or rillettes, like chicken liver pate, foie gras, rillettes, creton, and 'nduja. Serving spreadable meat allows your guests to experiment with stacking and encourages people to peruse your selection of crackers and toppings.


The idea that a charcuterie board has to include cheese is a common misconception, but who doesn’t love this classic combination? Cheese and meat go together naturally on a charcuterie board. One hard (gouda, cheddar, gruyere), one soft (brie, triple creme), and one funky (blue, goat) is a simple place to start.


Cheese Palate cleanser
Fruit and vegetables make great palate cleansers. They also give your gluten-free and vegetarian guests something to eat. Choose your favorites or go for the classics, including cornichons (mini pickles), grapes, apples, and cucumbers.

Olive oil & balsamic, mustard, jelly, tapenade, pesto, hummus, jam. Toppings can amp up the variety of flavor combinations and set the theme for your whole board. They can also provide a clue for which wines you should be pairing with your board (more about that a little later).


The Vehicle
Not to be underestimated, the vessel on which we consume our selections can make or break a charcuterie board. I don’t know if you’ve been down the cracker aisle lately, but there is something for everyone. Thick, cookie-like crackers sit next to crispy rosemary wafers, while wasabi rice crackers perch opposite multi-seed gluten-free crackers...Choose one to go with everything or a couple for people to mix and match.

Remember, variety, contrast, and texture each play a part in the ultimate charcuterie board.





Portion Estimates


2-9 People

2 cheeses (1 soft & 1 hard), 2 fruits/veggies, 1 meat, 1 spread, 1 special item

(pickled or sweet)


10-20 People

3 cheeses (1 soft, 1 hard, 1 sweet), 2 fruits/veggies, 2 meat, 1 spread, 1 special item

(pickled or sweet)


21-30 People

4 cheeses (1 soft, 1 hard, 1 sweet, 1 surprise), 2 fruits/veggies, 2-3 meats, 1 spread, 1 special item


31-40 People

5 cheeses (variety of soft, hard, & sweet), 3 fruits/veggies, 3 meats, 1 spread, 1 special item


Class Cuts & Folds


Pairing Ideas From Around The Web

Click on each thumbnail to enlarge...

Helpful Links From Around The Web

Food Network - Guide to Building a Charcuterie Board

Tast of Home - Pairings to Take Your Spread to the Next Level

The History Of Charcuterie: Ancient To Modern

Edible Flowers Bring A Cheese Plate To Life

 That Cheese Plate's Guide To Edible Flowers

Charcuterie Board Design Images

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