I have never put together a large charcuterie board, but I do enjoy looking at them.
They really are works of art that don’t only look delicious, but for a picky eater like me, they are a Godsend because I can usually find at least one thing I like on them.
Since this blog post acts as research to create my first large charcuterie board, I enlisted some help from my friends online with some large charcuterie board ideas.
Large Charcuterie Board Ideas
Why you need to create a charcuterie board
Lisa Santangelo at Food, Family, and Chaos says charcuterie boards are a great way to make sure that everyone can find something they like. They also promote conversation and mingling at any gathering.
Vegan food blogger Cadry Nelson, says when there’s a charcuterie board at a party, instantly the event has a centerpiece. People gather around, choosing each new bite, but charcuterie boards aren’t just for parties. They’re also a really easy dinner – grab some dips, spreads, crackers, crudites, and jarred briny things from the refrigerator. Then dig in!
Chef Joey Maggiore, a charcuterie expert, chef, and restaurateur who owns The Sicilian Butcher says you should create a large charcuterie board for gatherings like the holidays,
birthdays, baby showers, or engagement dinners.
Kathryn Bluher, owner of Virtue Cellars, loves charcuterie boards because they bring people together.
“They are not only show-stopping, but they also offer a centralized place for people to gather around. They literally bring people together. And that’s the reason we love wine and food, right?”
What must be included in a charcuterie board
According to Santangelo, necessary elements: a hard cheese, a semi-soft cheese, and a soft cheese; some dry meats like salami or pepperoni; nuts and cracker varieties for the salty and crunchy factor. She also adds some fruits, like grapes or apples, and a little something sweet, like mini cookies.
Since Nelson is vegan, she doesn’t put animal meat or cheese on her boards. However, there are still loads of things to choose from – hummus, vegan feta, nut-based cheeses and spreads, grilled artichoke hearts, warmed olives, figs, berries, bread, and dukkah… the options are endless!
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Bluher thinks every charcuterie board should include both soft and hard kinds of cheese because different cheeses will pair better with different wines. Bluher says you should also include nuts, grapes, an assortment of crackers, pretzels, and prosciutto or cured meats.
How to style a charcuterie board
Bluher says the key to success when making a charcuterie board is in the arrangement, but you can’t really go wrong, as long as you pile lots of food on a board! Think about color, texture, and shapes to mix it up.
Santangelo says the cheeses should be the main attraction, so spread them out across your board.
Group items together to create bulk. For example, pile grapes together instead of spreading them all throughout the board.
Finally, lay with height to add interest, Santangelo says. For example, add a small bowl to put nuts in or a glass for tall breadsticks.
Nelson says as pretty as it can be to just splay everything on the board, little bowls and spoons are helpful. Put dips and spreads in small containers with tiny spoons, forks, and knives for spreading. Then scatter the remaining ingredients over the board like a Jackson Pollock painting, so that wherever you’re seated, you can snag a good bite.
Maggiore says you should strategize your serving platter. You can go big with a five-foot-charcuterie board to serve a group or use a wooden or slate board for Instagrammable contrasts.
Also, as already mentioned, Maggiore agrees you should utilize small bowls or jars for jams and small accompaniments and stylish serving tools for your charcuterie boards especially during these COVID-19 times to limit hand touching.
Bluher adds that when creating a large charcuterie board, she absolutely loves mixing bold bowls with wood and incorporating pops of color. She also likes to arrange the items in a pattern that makes your eye travel around the board. If you arrange items like bowls or bright colors in a C or line, your eye will naturally follow the curved edges of the letter, or flow of the line. It’s a design trick that works well with charcuterie boards.