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What to serve with charcuterie boards

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Are you preparing a charcuterie board as appetizer, and wondering what to serve to amuse guests for a party or special occasion? Ranging from salty to spicy and sweet, there are many flavor and texture choices to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

What do you serve with a charcuterie board? A charcuterie board is typically served with a variety of meats and cheeses garnished with nuts, fresh or dried fruits, slices of bread and crackers that complement well with beer, wine or champagne.

Mixture of assorted ingredients, charcuterie board is famous for flexibility, affordability, and easy preparation that looks high-end with an aesthetic look. The combination of items can be designed to suit a specific color, season, geographical area or theme. 

This article gives you complete details on what to serve with charcuterie. Answered below are frequently asked questions ago help you plan, design and arrange your next charcuterie board. Tag along to learn more!

Can a charcuterie board be a meal?

Yes, a charcuterie board can be a meal. In fact, it is loaded with protein from meat and cheese as well as fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals from fruits and nuts. 

Therefore, it hits all the marks of a complete meal. The board should offer sustenance to be nutritious and filling no matter the occasion or time of the day.

Generally designed for three to five people, or even customized to fulfill a large crowd. However, the portion can be adjustable for two to three people by simply eliminating the amount of assortment and narrowing down the portion of each ingredient. 

What appetizers goes with a charcuterie board?

A fancy charcuterie board is acknowledged as appetizer, however it can easily be paired with other appetizers on the side. Select appetizers that go well with a charcuterie board, including fresh or dry fruits, bread, crackers and cheese. 

No matter what cured meats or cheese you place, these appetizers go wonderfully with a charcuterie board:

  • spinach artichoke dip
  • hummus and vegetables
  • pickles
  • pesto with baguette
  • guacamole
  • ceviche
  • salad
  • deviled egg
  • chips
  • shrimp cocktail

What to add on charcuterie board?

When preparing a charcuterie board, focus mainly on taste, texture and variety. A great mixed platter should have fatty, crunchy, pickled, carb-rich, sweet, salty, savory, and brined food ingredients.

Consider adding these items to your charcuterie board: 

Meat

Be sure to go with at least three varieties of meats. Most popular cured meat is prosciutto, but go with soppressata for fatty flavor. This meat is served in sweet and hot varieties that pairs perfectly with soft, creamy cheeses and fruits such as blackberry.

On the other hand, gouda or brie cheese taste best with genoa salami. Add chorizo for a spicy and hot flavor twist on the board. In fact, it is perfect with goat cheeses and any hard cheese such as manchego.

Cheese

Brie and blue are must-have and popular kinds of cheese to add on a charcuterie board. It has mild flavor and creamy texture that pairs perfectly with walnuts or pecans.

Other soft cheeses include goat cheese and mozzarella. When serving hard cheese, manchego and cheddar cheese will do since it has a mild nutty flavor that is also perfect with crackers, cured meats and fruits. 

Crackers

Whether it is plain or flavored crackers, they function as small plate to deliver the meats and cheeses to the mouth. For large boards, go in with three or more types. Also, consider crackers with crispy and grainy to add texture.

Water biscuits, crostini, whole wheat, saltines and artisan crackers are the best types to use on a charcuterie board.

Jam

Spicy and peppery jam offer variety for any plain and mild cheese and meat selections. The spread adds a load of flavor to the board. Commonly used jams include fig, raspberry, apricot, peach and strawberry jams.

Mustard

The type of mustard selected should match the intensity of the different cheeses, bread, meat and other ingredients used. It should also contrast the textures and flavors of the other ingredients. Mostly, Dijon mustard is the preferred choice.

Bread

Depending on the size of the charcuterie board, opt for two or three bread types. Baguettes, multigrain, sourdough, gluten-free bread, or flavored artisan bread are the most common.

For smaller sized charcuterie board or brunch sweet boards, replace heavy bread with mini croissants, muffins, or pretzel bites.

What flavor goes well with a charcuterie board?

Charcuterie board is versatile by season and can be altered in a variety of different ways. 

To add some tart or sweet flavor to the board, combine summer fruits such as grapes, peaches or melon. For fall, apples, pears, grapes, figs, and pomegranate will do too. 

Don’t forget some tarragon, rosemary, mint or fresh basil to give the dishes an earthy flavor. 

If you love things extra sweet, jams, honey, mustard, and fruit compotes are a must-have. Add some jalapeños or red pepper to give that extra kick.

Here are classic flavor combinations that go well with a charcuterie board:

  • blue cheese + ham + crackers + apricot preserves + fig chutney
  • goat cheese + red wine + fig spread + cheese curds
  • dried beef + dill pickles + prosciutto + brie cheese + strawberry jam
  • gorgonzola + salami + sun dried tomatoes + mini bell peppers
  • brie cheese + mango + bread + dried banana chips + chorizo + almonds

What to drink with a charcuterie board?

Charcuterie board is an excellent gateway to serve with alcoholic beverages such as wine, champagne, and beer. As a matter of fact, they are a must-have on the charcuterie board to assemble all the flavors in a celebratory manner.

Here are wines, champagnes, and beer to include with your meat and cheese spread:

Wine

When looking for a wine that best suits the charcuterie platter, we recommend focusing on the meats and cheeses, not the other way round. And always offer both white and red options.

To balance off the richness of the cheese, go with fruity tones using fresh red or white wines. For light-bodied wines, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc will do, and medium-bodied wines such as merlot and Pinot Noir too are a great addition.

Zinfandel, chianti classic, Chardonnay, Malbec Gamay and Verdejo are great pairings to please more sophisticated palates. 

Champagne

The kind of champagne you serve with a charcuterie board is majorly dependent on what is on the board. Primarily, the cheese dictates if the board requires champagne or not.

For instance, aged cheddar on the board, which has a rich and complex flavor profile, requires a strong champagne partner. The brioche notes of champagne bring out its spicy character, and baby swiss or alpine-style cheeses tend to require champagne as well.

The best champagne to add to a charcuterie board is demi-sec or brut for its balanced appeal.

Beer

Beer is uncommon when serving with charcuterie board, however doesn’t mean it is impossible. When pairing with beer, select the type of beer based on the cured meat.

When serving pork shoulder that has spicy and pepper flavor, go with IPA to sweet and lighten the taste. If the cured meat has fennel, hot peppers, paprika seasoning, pair with creamy and rich flavored Porter or Stout.

Italian dry salami tastes best with a Kolsch or Pilsner beer because it has enough acidity to cut through the fat, but peppered salami tastes better with amber ale and Genoa salami works well with a pale European lager or an American Adjunct Lager.

The popular prosciutto is an excellent cured meat to drink with Pilsner or Gose.

For Saison and IPA lovers, pair with mortadella. 

What to serve with charcuterie board

Eat With Charcuterie: Conclusion 

Variety is essential when designing a charcuterie board, so be sure to mix and match different flavors and textures. Place hard salami slices alongside the paper-thin, delicate prosciutto, and include sausages as well as hard and soft cheeses to give a variety of options.

Most importantly, remember to add bread, crackers, fruits, spreads, pickled vegetables and drinks to offer contrast and variety. These various ingredients not only provide sweet and salty noted, but also tang and acidity to the board, while others add texture and a sweet twist. 

Due to its versatility, it can become a meal or appetizer to serve before main entrée. Loaded with wholesome nutrition, you can have this platter at any time. 

For larger crowds, charcuterie boards cannot be the only appetizer. Pair with artichoke dip, hummus, pickles, guacamole, ceviche, salad, deviled egg, and shrimp cocktail to enjoy the feast. 

So, go all out with the meats, cheeses, crackers and bread types that taste best with wine, champagne, or beer. The possibilities are limitless, so provide different textures, colors and flavors by season so that your guests can mix and match as they please. 

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