#42 TRENDING IN Food 🔥

A Step-By-Step Guide to Making the Ultimate Summer Charcuterie Board


August 17, 2023

Regarding delectable and eye-catching food trends, charcuterie boards have taken the culinary world by storm. Originating from the sophisticated French cooking scene, these artful arrangements of fruits, cheeses, meats, bread slices, and vegetables have become a delightful summer snack perfect for teens and everyone seeking a mouthwatering and visually appealing treat. In this article, I will dive into the world of charcuterie boards, exploring the key ingredients that make them shine and uncovering tips on how to design a board that's both delicious and Instagram-worthy.

Fruitful Selections

One of the cornerstones of a captivating summer charcuterie board is the selection of fresh and vibrant fruits. These juicy and colorful additions not only provide a burst of natural sweetness but also serve as a refreshing contrast to the savory components on the board. When choosing fruits for your board, aim for a balance of flavors and textures. Here are some fantastic options to consider:

Berries: Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries add bursts of color and tangy sweetness to the board.

Citrus: Slices of oranges and grapefruits introduce a zesty element that complements the richness of cheese and meats.

Grapes: Whether green, red, or black, grapes are a charcuterie classic, providing a sweet and juicy burst with each bite.

Via Unsplash

Now that we've gathered an assortment of delightful fruits, it's time to explore the art of designing a captivating charcuterie board. Remember, the presentation is just as important as the flavors themselves. Here are some tips to create a visually appealing and mouth-watering masterpiece:

The Canvas:

The canvas you choose for your charcuterie board holds the key to presenting a visually stunning and appetizing display. The selection of materials, such as wooden, marble, or slate platters, can set the mood and style of your presentation. Wooden boards infuse a rustic warmth, marble adds an element of elegance, and slate surfaces bring a modern touch. It's important to consider the size of the platter in relation to the gathering and the quantity of ingredients you plan to include.

A larger platter offers more space for arranging, creating a visually spacious effect, while a smaller one can evoke a personal atmosphere. Additionally, it is helpful to think about the occasion for which you are making these charcuterie boards! Wooden platters are well-suited for casual events (picnics, reunions, small birthdays), while marble platters exude sophistication and are perfect for formal gatherings (large events, parties).

Via Pexels

Cheese Delights:

Cheese is a star player on any charcuterie board. Select a variety of cheeses, from creamy brie to tangy goat cheese and sharp cheddar. Arrange them in different corners or sections of the board, varying the shapes and sizes to create an inviting mosaic of flavors. You can choose to either keep the full block of cheese or slice it for easy snacking!

Via Pexels

Meat Medley:

Cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, and smoked turkey contribute a savory depth that complements the sweetness of fruits and the creaminess of cheeses. Gently fold or roll the slices for an artistic touch, making them visually appealing while also enhancing accessibility. To recreate the popular rose shape, fold a few slices of salami in half, slightly layer each slice next to each other (make sure to overlap the edges), and gently roll them together!

Via Pexels

Crunchy Crackers and Crisps:

The addition of an assortment of crackers, breadsticks, and crisped pita triangles provides a satisfying crunch and a convenient platform for layering toppings. Choose different shapes and sizes to add a playful visual dimension.

Via Unsplash

Nuts and Dried Fruits:

Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and dried apricots introduce another layer of texture and flavor, complementing the other components with their earthy undertones. Make sure to distribute them strategically for even coverage. (Pro tip: Take food allergies into consideration. A charcuterie can still be delightful without mixed nuts! Or, you can place a few almonds, walnuts, and others in a small bowl on the side).

Via Pexels

Jams and Spreads:

Incorporate small bowls of honey, fig jam, apricot jam, or even tangy mustard. These condiments serve as flavorful companions, inviting guests to dip, spread, and enhance their culinary journey. Remember to place small spoons with the bowls so that guests can easily access the tasty spreads!

Via Pixabay

Arranging with Intention:

As you place each element on the board, consider balance and symmetry. Group similar items together to create visually cohesive sections. Leave enough open space for easy access and ensure that no area feels overcrowded. Creating designs by placing cheeses or meats in a line or a curved shape will help make your charcuterie board look extra fun and fancy!

Via Pexels

Finishing Touches:

Elevate your board's aesthetic by garnishing with fresh herbs such as sprigs of rosemary or thyme. Edible flowers not only add a burst of color but also infuse subtle fragrances that enhance the overall sensory experience. Based off of the theme of the occasion you are making this board for, choose garnishes that match, the most incredibly fun time!

Via Pexels

Remember, crafting a summer charcuterie board goes beyond mere taste; its beauty creates a multisensory experience that leaves a lasting impression. The combination of aromas, colors, textures, and flavors should transport your guests to a realm of culinary delight. Encourage them to savor each element, experimenting with different combinations to find their palate preferences.

By carefully selecting a variety of fresh fruits and skillfully arranging them alongside cheeses, meats, and other accompaniments, you'll be able to create a summer charcuterie board that's as delicious as it is Instagram-worthy. So, unleash your inner food artist, gather your favorite ingredients, and embark on a journey of flavors, textures, and visual delights.

Ashley Guo
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Ashley Guo is a student at Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California. She is passionate about dance, piano, and biological research. She enjoys spending her free time reading and volunteering.