Charcuterie 101: Artful Arrangements
Our Carve Charcuterie collection has landed! We’ve been quietly working to get this curated selection of hand-carved walnut wood products ready for your kitchen and dining room, and we are so excited to finally share them with you!
To help you make the most of these new pieces, we’re sharing all the charcuterie secrets here on the blog. Last post we covered the basic necessities and special accompaniments for any charcuterie plate.
However, translating a few hunks of cheese into one of those artfully arranged boards you see on Pinterest can be more difficult than it looks. So, this time we’re covering a few key tips and techniques on how to create insta-worthy charcuterie of your own.
Of course, starting with a stylish board as your base instantly helps elevate your plating. Did we already mention how much we love the natural wood grains and warm textures of our new Carve Charcuterie collection?
Start big and scatter
The thing about arranging a cheese board is, it’s really not going to look good until you’ve got the finished product. So don’t panic!
Start with the big items, aka your cheeses and small bowls for jams, dips and other spreads. Scatter these items around the board, leaving space in between. You’ll fill those areas with your other goodies.
You can leave the cheeses as-is and provide knives for party-goers to serve themselves, or pre-cut your hard cheeses. Cutting them ahead of time makes things a little easier on your guests, and allows for you to create different shapes for visual interest.
You can do cubes, matchsticks, little wedges and more. Fan out slices, stack wedges, pile up the cubes - be creative and play with the presentation.
Add meats and crackers
Similar to the cheeses, you want to scatter your meats and breads around the board, tucking them next to your already placed items.
For small boards you can stack your meats and crackers, or fan them out to take up more space on large boards. Our favorite look though is folding the charcuterie to amp up the style.
Long, thinly-sliced meats like prosciutto can be rolled up or draped on the board to create a bunched up look. Thin, circular slices like salami or soppressata can be folded in half and overlapped, folded and then rolled to make a cone shape, or folded in half twice to make a triangle.
You are typically going to need a lot more breads than you can fit on an arranged cheese plate, so just place extras in a bowl alongside your board.
Fill in the holes
Now it’s time to add your fruits, nuts, olives and other accompaniments to start filling up the gaps. Your board should now start to look less like a random mess and more like a photo worthy charcuterie plate.
Berries of course are easy, but make sure to slice apples, pears, peppers, and other similar fruits and veggies before arranging. Melon can also be cut into wedges or bite sized chunks, or you can use a melon baller if you really want to get fancy. Halve figs and lay them with their colorful inside showing up.
And don’t forget to fill up those bowls as well with whatever jams and spreads you’ve got planned! If you’ve got an extra bowl you can also use olives, nuts or pickled veggies instead of placing them directly on the board.
Give it a garnish
Garnishes can help fill in any extra spaces you may still have, and also serve to tie in any party decor or seasonal touches used elsewhere.
Edible flowers and fresh herbs mesh nicely with your other charcuterie offerings, plus they add some additional color. Think along the lines of lavender, rosemary and thyme. Or tuck some greenery in with fresh spinach, arugula or dandelion greens.
Now you have everything you need to craft a beautiful charcuterie board for the next appropriate occasion. Check back to our last post if you need tips on what to buy to build your board. And now if you will excuse me, there is a block of honey goat cheese calling my name.