Happy Thanksgiving | How to Make a Charcuterie Board

November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving! First, thank you. This year, I have many things to be thankful for, but most importantly, I want to thank all of you for supporting Classically Clad.  I wouldn’t be trying to make this a full-time gig if it weren’t for you continuing to come back and read, support, and shop with me.

Many of you have mentioned that you want to see some things that I do outside of blogging.  Well, I am obsessed with party planning.  I thought it would be fun to share one of my favorite items that I enjoy making around the holidays for parties.

Charcuterie boards! Yes, if you follow me on Instagram, you know I continue to say that word wrong. (insert eye roll) Even though I can’t pronounce the word correctly, I sure do love putting together these beautiful spreads and today, I am going to help you.

The Key to Success

The key to a successful, beautiful spread, is that you need a wide variety of ingredients that also vary in color. If you take anything away from this, it should be that items from the same food group and items of the same color should not go next to each other. Okay, here is what I mean.

The Ingredients

Cheese

 

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Cheese is the perfect appetizer and I make it easier on myself by buying the pre-sliced cheese.  Make sure to buy a variety of flavors so there is a cheese that each guest is sure to enjoy.

I also try to buy at least one wheel of cheese.  A wheel of gouda or brie preset really nicely on the charcuterie board.

I like to place the wheel of cheese on a corner to help hold in the ingredients. Make sure to have a cheese knife when you serve!

The slices of cheese can be placed in any type of formation. I usually have fun by fanning it out or stacking the slices in pretty piles.

Meat

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The meat helps add some substance to the board so your guest doesn’t feel like they only ate cheese and crackers.

My go-to is deli cold cuts like salami, prosciutto, and capricola.  You can buy these individually from the deli, or your grocery store probably has a nice variety pack like the one above.

Crackers

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Pick whichever crackers you like! I usually look at my meat and cheese selections and then decide which crackers would pair well.

This is also an opportunity to add some color.  You can see that I picked a pretzel, a beat cracker, a bagel chip, and a parmcrisps.  Each cracker has different colors.  This will be important when it comes to placing the ingredients on the charcuterie board.

Olives

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This is a great salty treat! Go with a variety pack.  Some grocery stores even have olive bars where you can have fun picking out stuffed olives.  These are not mandatory on a charcuterie board.  I personally really enjoy olives so I include them!

Nuts + Dried Fruits

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Nuts and dried fruit are great for breaking up colors.  They can be dumped into any small space on the platter and look great.  I always add the nuts and dried fruit last into any open spaces.

I love using peanuts, cashews, and almonds on my charcuterie boards.  When it comes to dried fruit, raisins, mango, and apricots are great!

Protip: Make sure to keep the nuts and dried fruits on the inside and not near the edges.  They need to be surrounded by hearty items that can hold them in place.  Otherwise, they will spill off the edge.

Fresh Fruits

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Fruits give a break from the salty items on the plate.  They offer fresh, crisp bites, which differs from the other ingredients used.

Grapes are my go-to fruit for the spread.  I love them because they bunch up nicely and you can form them to fill a space. I went with red grapes because it is Fall, so I love the warm tones.

Apples are another great fruit to grab because they are in season right now. My personal favorite is a Honeycrisp apple.  You can have fun with the way you slice the apple and place it. I slivered by apple so I could bend it to fill the space around the cheese.

The Placement on the Board

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This is a zoomed photo so you can see better what I am referencing too when I explain how to finally put all the ingredients together.

  1. Start in a corner with a hearty item that can hold shape.
    • I started with the grapes.
    • You could also start with the round cheese wheel.
  2. Work your way down the side.
    • I moved down and added the salami. 
    • Notice- I placed a meat next to a fruit. Try to avoid placing foods from the same food group or color on the charcuterie board.
  3. Finish the side by placing another hearty option in the corner.
    • I stacked the sliced cheese.
  4. Continue to move across the board.
  5. Place different colors, food groups, and portion amounts by each other.
  6. Be creative in the way you style and present the food. 
    • Pull each piece of meat out of the packaging and allow it to fold into itself.
    • Spread the grapes in a full shape.
    • Fan the crackers to follow the items they are next to.
  7. Fill any gaps with nuts or dried fruits.

Bon Appétit

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You have a finished product and an appetizer that looks like a professional put it together for you.  If you want to impress your family today, be sure to throw together a charcuterie board.

I hope this little tutorial was fun and helpful for you.  If you build your own charcuterie board, please be sure to share it with me!

I am not a professional cook, but cooking is something I really enjoy outside of blogging.  I hope you all have a safe and filling Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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P.S. Are you Black Friday shopping? Be sure to check out my list of sales that are going on now! I will be updating this post throughout today and tomorrow.

P.S.S. If you are looking for gift inspiration, be sure to check out my gift guides.

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