Charcuterie (noun) means a ready-to-eat selection of meats.
Charcuterie platters are all the rage lately. Why? Because you can serve them at just about any gathering, they’re easy to customize, and you don’t have to cook or bake anything - SCORE!
Let’s break that down a little bit.
You can serve them at just about any gathering. Really – you can. Birthday parties, girls' night in, holiday parties – like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, etc., date night, dinner parties. I could continue but I think you catch my drift.
They’re easily customizable. Have a friend who hates Gouda? Swap it out for another cheese. Coworker that’s gluten free? Take off the bread and add a variety of nuts instead.
You don’t have to cook or bake! This is self-explanatory but I wanted to say it again. I’m a horrible baker and if it’s warm outside and the air conditioner is running in my house, there is no way I’m turning on the oven.
So, now that you want to make a charcuterie plate for your next gathering, we should talk about what you’ll need.
1. How many people will be eating the charcuterie plate?
You need to make sure you have an adequate sized platter based on the number of people that will be eating it.
2-4 people – 11 x 10
6-8 people – 11 x 16
8-10 people – 11 x 20
12+ people – 11 x 24
2. Make sure you have enough meat and cheese for your guests.
Especially if this is your main appetizer.
2 oz meat per person
3 oz cheese per person
Tip – for deli pepperoni and salami, ask for your meat sliced at a .25-.5 thickness (this is so you can fold your meat easily.) For other meats, ask the counter to cut them for a charcuterie platter. They’ll know how each meat holds up and how it should be served.
3. You’ll need texture and color.
Be sure you get food with various textures and colors.
Green – olives, pickles, grapes, pears, artichoke dip
Black – olives, peppered crackers
Red – jam, cherries, apples
Yellow – mustard, honey
Brown – bread, crackers, pretzels, nuts, hummus
4. Feeling fancy? Dishes and serving utensils are key.
Be sure to put any jams, spreads, or dips in little glass or plastic bowls. Put them in similar bowls for a more uniform look or mix up the colors and sizes for a more eclectic look.
Also, don’t forget to have separate serving spoons/knives for the items on your platter. You don’t want any hummus/jam cross contamination because… ew.
Lastly, make some fun labels for your various board components using toothpicks, a dab of glue, a piece of paper, and an easy-to-write-with marker.
What’s your favorite charcuterie board component? Let us know in the comments!