First things first, what’s the difference between a Cheese Board and a Charcuterie Board?
Both are delicious, both are crowd-pleasers, but they do have a few differences along the way.
The major difference between the two is a charcuterie board includes meat while a cheese board does not. A cheese board is just as delicious but a bit more vegetarian-friendly!
When it comes to picking cheeses, I like to get a bit of a variety so everyone has a safe cheese to go for! So my formula for finding cheese would be a creamy cheese, a strong cheese, and a safe cheese.
My creamy cheese was brie, but you could use mozzarella, goat cheese, or burrata (if you really wanted to make things fancy). For my strong cheese, I choose a sharp Vermont Cheddar. It’s got a very distinct flavor and stands out on its own. You could also do a parmesan or blue cheese. For my safe cheese, I choose gouda, because it’s a classic go-to cheese in my household, but you could do any cheese that you know your family and friends love!
For the meats, you can really go as crazy as you want. I like to stick with some basics, like salami and prosciutto. Other options could be mortadella, chorizo, bacon, salmon, ham, or even bacon! Try to think of flavor combinations. Like would your meat selection go with at least two cheeses? If yes, then add it in!
You want there to be a balance of just enough food to make the platter look full without being overwhelming, so I suggest sticking to two or three cheeses and meats.
1 block of sharp cheddar cheese
1 block of brie
1 block of gouda
1/2 pound of salami
1/2 pound of prosciutto
Dried fruit, like cranberries, cherries, blueberries
Fresh fruit, like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries
To begin, I like to find a few small bowls and arrange them on my platter. This helps me judge how much space I’ll need to fill with cheese and meats!
Fill one bowl with olives, one bowl with jam, and the final bowl with the snack mix.
Now that the bowls have been placed, cut each block of cheese into a few different sections. This part is optional, you don’t have to cut the cheese, but I do think it makes it a little bit more user-friendly and easier to grab pieces!
For the brie, I cut the circular block of brie into little wedges.
For the cheddar, I cut long rectangular pieces.
For the gouda, I just cut random little one inches pieces off.
Now that all the cheese has been cut, begin to place the cheese in random groupings on your platter. I try to make sure they’re kind of spread out on the platter.
Then add the meat in between sections of cheese. I like to place the meat in large handfuls to add depth and dimension to the platter.
Place some crackers across the board, or in two different piles.
Then fill in any leftover space with fresh or dried fruit. I try to make sure that there’s always a color break. For example, I had my crackers and cheddar cheese beside each other, which ended up with a large portion of white on the board. So to fix this, I added some strawberries to one side and then some dried berries in the middle. It helps break up a large chunk of the board and adds more color and interest!
Ta-da! The board is complete and ready to be deliciously devoured!
I know that this charcuterie board won’t last any time at all in my household!