How to Nail the Perfect Cheese and Charcuterie Board
Planning a get together at your new apartment and looking to impress? Follow these tasty steps towards creating an eye-catching cheese and charcuterie board that’s likely to disappear not long after it’s served.
When it’s your turn to play host, a cheese and charcuterie board will never let you or your guests down. It’s casual dining at its finest, with a visual wow factor and tasty treats that never fail to please a crowd.
The laidback preparation style of a charcuterie board makes it easy to pull together on a whim, especially when unexpected guests drop in to check out your new apartment.
The versatility and simplicity of charcuterie also makes it easy to scale up and down, depending on your budget and how many people you’ll be entertaining.
We’ve pulled together our tips for making the perfect cheese and charcuterie board that promises to unlock your inner gourmand while dazzling your nearest and dearest.
So, what is a charcuterie board?
Charcuterie is traditionally a style of French feasting where cured meats are assorted on a platter, but today, it can also include cheeses, pickled vegetables, spreads, produce, crackers and more.
A charcuterie board is a popular choice when hosting, as it technically requires no cooking skills and can be super flexible — you get to design your board, your way.
This roving style of feasting is also great for apartment living, where you can host large groups of friends and family without the stress of preparing a sit-down dinner.
Simple timber boards are best
Make your cheese and charcuterie board look just as good as it tastes.
Traditionally, a large wooden rectangular or circular board will be used as a base with smaller ceramic vessels atop to sort your ingredients. You can even use multiple boards and platters and create an epic charcuterie table — you’re guaranteed to be everyone’s favourite host with this approach!
Mix and match textures and sizes of servingware to create visual interest. Local op shops are great for picking up vintage crockery that will enhance the overall look of your carefully curated feast.
Delicious treats worth considering
Making a charcuterie and cheese board is a choose your own gourmet adventure.
While there are no defined rules on what you can and can’t include, shopping for ingredients is made easier if you stick to food in the following categories: cured meats, cheese, preserved or pickled produce, dips, dried or fresh fruit, crackers and something sweet.
Cured meats may include prosciutto, salami or thinly sliced roast beef, and if including multiple cheeses opt for varieties that are different to each other. For example, match a soft and creamy Fromager d'Affinois with a hard and salty Pecorino.
To cut through these decadent morsels, add some pickled cornichons, caperberries, nuts, fresh berries, dried apricots or dates. Then mix up the textures with the addition of your favourite dips or a bougie quince paste.
Lastly, add your crackers — opt for Italian grissini, lavosh or a freshly sliced baguette, or why not all three?
Remember, there are numerous options available in major supermarkets these days for when you're catering for various dietary requirements.
Keep your eyes peeled for dairy-free cheeses, gluten-free crackers and even meatless deli-style meats to ensure all your guests can enjoy the spread you're putting on.
How to layer your charcuterie board
You want to add your larger items to the board first, starting with cheese. If using more than one, position them an equal distance apart.
Cured meats are next. Again, if using more than one variety, keep them separate on the board. Decanter dips or preserves into small decorative vessels and add to the board with matching serving spoons.
Fill the smaller gaps that remain on your board with small handfuls of nuts, dried fruit, nougat, fresh berries or crackers. You can even add some rosemary from your balcony herb garden for a touch of colour, foliage and fragrance.
Caydon apartments were designed for entertaining, with open plan spaces and well-equipped kitchens. You can even make the most of our impressive shared spaces and take your charcuterie up the rooftop — the choice is yours.