The word “Charcuterie” originates from the French words for flesh “chair” and cooked “cuit”, which describes a wide range of cured meats. A charcuterie board can be served as a starter or a main course, and is a great way to wow guests with minimal effort and maximum flavour. A charcuterie board should not only have incredible ingredients, but also a combination of colours and flavours for an excellent culinary experience.
To help you separate your saucisson from your salami, we have created a comprehensive guide to creating the most beautiful and bountiful board.
- The board - Lets start at the very beginning, the base. Your board should be as elegant as the ingredients it supports, but it shouldn’t be too colourful to distract from the charcuterie on it. We would suggest a classic wooden board, or something slate if you are feeling a bit special. Your board sets the scene. It should not only look fantastic, but also be big enough to hold your forthcoming feast. Make sure you spread the meat and cheese into separate areas, and have knives at the ready for the butter or chutney.
- The meat- It is hard to go wrong with so many magnificent cured meats to choose from. We would suggest choosing 4 cured meats to not overwhelm the board and keep all the flavours beautifully coherent. If this is a starter, we would recommend around 2 ounces per person, and 5 if it is a main. Some saucisson is guaranteed to spice up your board, and a unique flavour such as wild boar or blueberry will take it to the next level. Pair with some spiced salami, some chorizo, and some jamón Ibérico for a salty sensation.
- The cheese- The “crown jewels” of any charcuterie board. These can be picked according to personal preference, but generally we would choose 3-4 different types and mix up the texture between soft and hard cheeses. We would also recommend a blue cheese, such as the Brighton blue, to add some tanginess to your board. If you want something really special, pick an award winning cheese such as a truffle Brie or a 15 month matured Comte.
- The base - Firstly, choose a beautifully fresh baguette to balance all of your wonderful charcuterie on. Slice this onto the edge of the board, and add a pot of butter to taste. Alongside the bread, you can never have too many crackers to spread your cheese on. Go with something salty, such as Cornish thins, or even cheddar flavoured if you are a cheese fanatic. Some chutney is the perfect accompaniment to bring the base to life, spicy tomato and caramelised onion is our current bestseller.
- The extra special touches- Adding the perfect pate can really elevate the flavours on a charcuterie board. Traditionally duck or chicken liver is used, but mushroom can be a good option if your board is already fairly meat heavy. Some antipasti such as olives and sun dried tomatoes can add some juiciness to offset the saltiness of the cured meats. Nuts can also be a nice touch, a truffle and pecorino mix will perfectly compliment the flavours of any cheese.
If you are interested in using any of the incredible ingredients above to create your own charcuterie board, have a look on our website where you can find them all.