How long is it safe for me to leave my charcuterie and cheese board out to serve?
You may or may not already know that most cheese is at optimal flavor when eaten at room temperature. Its common for people to pull out there cheese from refrigeration 1hr before serving so that it has reached optimal room temp. Most cheese once they reach room temp are good for up to 3 hours so a total of 4 hours out of the refrigerator. The softer and fresher the cheese the less it holds up after about the 3rd hour of sitting out, it may not be appealing to eat but its unlikely it will make you sick until the 4th hour. At hour 4 you can still wrap up the semi hard and hard cheese and put back in your fridge but for the fresh and soft cheese they should be thrown away.
How much cheese and meat should I buy for my Charcuterie board?
When you are planning to serve your charcuterie board as a starter or appetizer we recommend planning up to 3oz of cheese and 2oz of meat per person along with all the other accompaniments that go on a board.
If you are planning on serving this as the only food or main meal we recommend doubling those ounces for a hearty graze for your guests.
What are some crowd pleasing cheese and meat recommendations for my charcuterie board?
Our favorite go to cheeses that are sure to please just about every palette are a Dutch Gouda, a French Brie and a Spanish Manchago. Gouda is a great mild cheese and has only trace levels of lactose for those who have sensitive tummies, french brie is a common but bougie cheese that is versatile and pair's well with just about everything, and Spanish manchego is unique a little sharpe in flavor but not too funky and is made with sheeps milk. Chevré (goat cheese) is also one of our very favorites that can be added to your board or traded for Brie or Manchego. Chevre comes in a vast variety of flavors that can add a fun angle to your board.
For your Charcuterie Selections we always recommend using a entry cured meat that most everyone knows and loves, such as Italian dried Salami and then adding in a muscle meat like Prosciutto or Dried Coppa. You can always level it up from there by adding in unique flavored salami's, dried chorizo and then next level it with NDJUA or paté.
If your a local come by our shoppe in downtown Turlock and we can help you pick out the perfect elements for your charcuterie board!
What are somethings I should avoid putting on a charcuterie and cheese board?
1. FRESH CITRUS! and other high acid-fruits...For the love of cheese and your pallet skip these elements such as oranges, grapefruits, pineapple and kiwi. High acid fruits react to the cheese and turns its acrid and extremely unpleasant. With so many fruits such as grapes, apples, berries, figs that pair so beautifully with cheese there should be no problem skipping out on these fruits. We do love using the high acid and citrus fruits on our boards when they have been dehydrated and the moisture/acid has been removed. They can be used as a beautiful edible garnish.
2. Vegetables, other than cucumbers which add great color, cleanse of the pallet and a gluten free carrier option most all your other typical veggies like carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower etc should be left to the deli trays and crudités platters. They just don't pair with your fine cheese and trigger a totally different experience and look for your board that you probably were not intending.
Finally if you are setting out to make your own cheese board and want a few more tips and tricks on how to curate the perfect charcuterie board check out our simple and easy guide on curating your own charcuterie board at home!