After recently scrolling Pinterest and Instagram, I was inspired to tackle a subject that is near and dear to my heart, charcuterie boards. According to the internet, all you need to do is pile a bunch of food on a platter and you can call it a charcuterie board. However, in the culinary world, the word charcuterie (pronounced as shar-koo-tuh-ree) actually refers to the art of preparing meat or preservation of meat, specifically pork products. And it is also a way for Chefs to prevent food waste by using every cut of meat. Pretty cool, right?
Now a snack board can be anything you want it to be. Whether that’s an assortment of items meant for game night, accompaniments for hot chocolate, or even a waffle platter, that can be called a snack board. But if you’re going to call your creation a charcuterie board, it should probably contain some type of meat product in my not so humble opinion.
Here are my tips on building your own charcuterie board (or snack board) and what you should keep in mind:
- Consider your audience and the event. Is this event for adults? Kids only? Think about the type of folks and what might make the most sense. If it’s your daughter’s holiday sleepover, maybe a hot chocolate snack board with hot cocoa, marshmallows, candy canes and whipped cream would be appropriate.
- Choose your board. The look and feel of how you choose to display your food does matter. The best boards I have seen for charcuterie are wooden cutting boards in all shapes and sizes.
- Choose your ingredients. When picking out ingredients, I would consider picking at least 5-7 types or categories of different ingredients for a true charcuterie board. 1) Meat, 2) cheese, 3) fruit/veg, 4) nuts/seeds, and a 5) starch (crackers.) For meat: 2-3 options, cheese: 2-3 options, fruit/veg: 2 options (dried or fresh), starch: 2 options. It’s important to consider color, shape, and texture as well. You can always use small cookie cutters to cut cheese into different shapes, serve soft and hard cheeses, and offer different colors of fruits or vegetables.