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Learn To Cook At Home-Charcuterie Boards Made Easy

Let's face it, whether you're planning a Memorial Day feast, a July 4th cookout or you're even a mega-planner and thinking about the "real" holiday food, most people love to graze and what began as a crazy trend, has become a staple in any home cook's entertaining arsenal. Learn to cook at home and simplify your get-togethers by adding charcuterie boards to your growing list of cooking skills.

Truly easy to make and FUN! Let the grazing begin!

Cheese, meat and fruit artfully displayed on a board

When we were teaching the charcuterie creation classes, people came in afraid and uncertain about what to do. The main thing we heard, "I'm not creative". Well, guess what? Without exception, they left our classes with beautiful meat and cheese (and lots of other things) boards.

You can do the same.

Scroll down to see some more examples.

These Charcuterie Board Design Tips are just that...TIPS. These are NOT rules.

Use them as a GUIDE not GOSPEL so HAVE FUN!

Shop with variety in mind and when the time comes to assemble you can use these suggestions as guiding principles to just PLAY! Each section has suggestions to guide your purchases.

Meats and cheeses displayed on a board

Arranging the platter should be fun, and you can always change things as you go as you place ingredients on the board. Snacking is strongly encouraged. I mean, you need to know that everything tastes good together, right?

Express yourself…that’s what it’s all about.


The “best” charcuterie boards contain both meats and cheeses with supporting items. Consider – shapes, colors, textures, flavors.

Pile and push together. Let the sections touch. That makes a board look full and welcoming.

You want to get people to eat it not just admire it!


In general, choose 3 or 5 or 7 cheeses and meats depending on the size of your board. Choose one cheese as your “anchor” then build your board around it.

People will hesitate with a big block of cheese. Cut up hard cheese or slice a soft one.

If you have a soft cheese that you don’t want to slice, add a cheese knife.

        A cheese flight should have a variety of flavor AND texture.

o   Soft and creamy – Brie, Boursin

o   Aged – Gruyere

o   Firm – Manchego, Comté

o   Blue – Gorgonzola, Maytag

o   Smoked – Gouda

Meats can be pre-sliced or sliced yourself…good idea to have both. Fold, cut, shape, make them interesting. Meats can also be softer or “hard” and chewy.

o   Mild – prosciutto

o   Spicy – pepperoni

o   Funky – tartufo/truffled, even pâté

o   Savory – hard salami

Meats and cheeses displayed on a board

Supporting "cast"

Condiments and nuts – a variety of flavor profiles balances your board.

Fruit (dried and fresh) and Vegetables (grilled, marinated, pickled)

o   Sweet – honey, syrup, preserves, jellies, jams

o   Sweet heat – pepper jelly

o   Crunchy – nuts, all kinds

o   Savory – mustards


o   Grapes, apples, pears

Marinated or grilled vegetables

o   Pickles, olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts


Wines for a spring/summer board:

Light white, fruity red and rosé

Wines for a fall/winter board:

Spicy red, big/buttery/oaky white, tannic/big red

Fresh baguettes or ciabatta loaves hold up well for a fresh bread slice or an additional learn to cook at home skill is making your own crostini for your guests. It’s so easy.

Slice bread thinly, place on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and then kosher salt. Bake in the oven at 400° until browned, 12 - 15 minutes.

Several men and women holding charcuterie boards

Have a great party!


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