With the popularity of Charcuterie on the rise (one good thing to come out of 2020 #amiright?) It has become a common household question "How do I make the perfect charcuterie board?" Well we are here to tell you the very first and important rule to making the perfect charcuterie and cheese board is....THERE ARE NO RULES! Thats the best part of it for us!
Though we believe there are no real rules, we do have some guidelines for an elevated building and grazing experience.
Obviously to start you need to gather all your supplies. If you're local, we recommend stopping by our location in Downtown Turlock we can help you from start to finish!
Since we are all friends here Local or afar we want to let you in on a few of our recommended guidelines to curating the perfect charcuterie and cheese board!
1. When planning out your charcuterie and cheese board we recommend choosing at least 3 cheeses from the following types of cheese categories. We also recommend that one of the cheeses you select be an alternative milk such as goat or sheep. Also the biggest question is always how much cheese and meat should I buy? We recommend if being served as an appetizer to plan for 3 oz of cheese and 2 oz of meat per guest. Double that if you want it to be a full meal.
- Hard cheese, ex Parmasan, asiago, aged white cheddar, Manchego
- Soft Ripened cheese, ex Brie, Camembert, Mt. Tam, Humbolt Fog
- Fresh cheese, ex Chevrè (goat cheese), Burrata, Mozzarella, Feta
- Semi hard cheese, ex Gouda, Edam, Havarti,
- Funky cheese, ex Blue, Roquefort, Taleggio, Stilton
2. When choosing your Charcuterie (cured meat) make sure to choose at least one salami type (or encased meat) and one muscle meat such as prosciutto or coppa. We like to stretch our guests and put a spreadable meat on as well such as NDJUA or Paté but just be sure of your audience, if they are a more cold cuts and cheddar you may want to skip to "funky" meat option.
3. Grab some seasonal and local fresh produce that pair well with cheese such as blueberries, strawberries, apples and raspberries. We love to add in cucumbers for color, palate cleansing and a good alternative to a cracker for our carb or gluten conscience friends. Make sure all citrus or high acid fruits are dehydrated and not fresh on a board because fresh citrus and dairy are not great friends! Also, ditch the cherry tomato's, carrots and celery for this grazing experience. These tend to trigger a more deli tray feel and you are going for a higher end grazing with this board!
4. When you are ready to curate your board, start with your cheeses first, place them on your board and then start building out around them with all your other elements. Cheese generally is what you want to be the star of your board and this will shine through when its the the element that everything else centers around. some of our favorite tips when curating your board are
- Don't lay your meats out flat, they tend to get stuck together and not easily picked up. We love to fold or flower our salami ( we have a signature rose that you will notice on our boards) and with the muscle meats a little fluff twist or semi fold adds dimension and easier access for your guests
- Never leave your cheese completely whole and untouched. Think about it, no one likes the be the first one at a party to cut the cheese right? ha..funny but true, if you don't pre cut into a big block of cheese, slice a few pieces or put a knife in your brie and soft cheeses people are intimidated to undo your beautiful creation or be the one who held up the line. Help them out a bit and "mess up" your cheese so they feel like someone already dove in and enjoyed!
- the accompaniments add the final touches that can really make or break your board. Add in some great variety here with pickled items, dried fruit, interesting jams and/or honeys, nuts, a variety of baked crackers, and yes and delicious CHOCOLATE.
- Finally our last tip not to be over looked is the garnish. This really finishes your board and brings it all together. We recommend using fresh herbs like rosemary, sage and/or thyme and our favorite garnish that elevates any board to the next level is a few beautiful edible flowers.
5. Meat and Cheese are at optimal flavor once they have reached room temperature, and can be left out after reaching room temp for about 2 hrs on the safest side. Some experts say 4 hours from the time you take it out of the fridge until you should throw it out, but some of the fresher cheese don't have that long so we stick with the 2 hour once room temp rule to be on the safe side.
It's important to not lose sight why you are doing this in the first place, to enjoy the process, have fun and really Savor the moments it creates between your guests and yourself once you have served it. Here at Savor we believe in tasting the difference togetherness makes, especially while gathered around a specially curated charcuterie and cheese board.
We hope this helped you in your endeavor to make the perfect board! Post a picture on social media and tag us @savorcharcuerie #Savortogetherness