Entertaining 101: How to Assemble a Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards, aka meat and cheese trays, are a great tool to add to your toolbox to help take your spring and summer hosting to the next level! They look fancy, but are a very simple, minimal prep way to serve any number of people.
We want to walk you through a few of the main things to keep in mind when assembling a charcuterie board and will show you how to use the products included in one of the gift boxes you can purchase through our online store: our PA Dutch Snacker.
Color, Flavor, Texture, and Shape
Color: As you’re picking out your charcuterie board items, keep in mind the colors of the products you select. For example, when selecting cheese, try to select one orange or yellow cheese to add into the mix. This is a great place to use fresh fruit or olives to add some brightness to the board!
Flavor: A good charcuterie board is a balance of savory and sweet. As you grab a salty component, like crackers or ring bologna, pick up a sweeter item, such as chocolate or honey BBQ snack sticks. This will ensure that your board offers something for everyone; whether they have a sweet tooth or prefer more savory options!
Texture: Again, balance is key when it comes to the texture of items on the board. You want some items to be crunchy, while others should be creamy. This will happen naturally as you pick your selection of products. For example, the crackers and fresh fruits, especially things like grapes or apple slices, will add the perfect amount of crispness to the board. While cheeses and spreads add some creaminess to balance out the textures.
Shape: Lastly, as you’re assembling the board, consider the shapes you are using. You want to avoid cutting every product the same way. Try to create different shapes such as cubes or circles. Have you ever heard the saying that people “eat with their eyes first?” Well, this component is a great example of that! Considering shape will help to make your board visually appealing.
In this example, we’re using the components of the PA Dutch Snacker which will serve as a snack for approximately 10-12 people. Obviously, you can tailor your board to feed however many people you would like by adding or removing items. For a board this size, we will be using four meats, three kinds of cheese, two cracker options, and some additional snack items, including fresh fruit and chocolate.
Cheeses: Marble Cheese, Farmers Cheese, Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread
Crackers: Thin Wheat Crackers, Garlic Bagel Chips
*Please note: the grapes, dried apricots, and olives are not included in the PA Dutch Snacker.
Assembling the Board
First, station the more solid items into the spot where they will be. For example, items that will be in a bowl, like olives or spreads, and larger items, such as a big chunk of cheese. You want to space these out across the board.
Next, add the other core items that you have cut up into different shapes. This is where you’ll be adding the rest of the meats and cheeses to the board. Pair them with the items you previously set on the board.
With each pairing or grouping, add piles of crackers or spread them out in a domino-like fashion around the items.
Finally, fill in empty spaces and add pops of brightness where needed. This is where the fresh fruit and extra snacks come into play, adding color and visual appeal to the board.
Voila! Now you have a beautiful, tasty treat to serve at a small get-together with a few friends or a large family picnic. Wherever you’re serving up your charcuterie board, be sure to use your creativity!
While this board shows you how to use the products from our PA Dutch Snacker (which you can find in our online store and have shipped right to your door), charcuterie boards are a great way to try that unique cream cheese spread you’ve been eyeing up at our store or purchase that new flavor of snack sticks that you’ve been interested in. You could create an awesome board with any assortment of Stoltzfus Meats items!
We can’t wait to see what you create. If you make your own Stoltzfus Meats charcuterie board, please post a picture and tag us on Facebook at Stoltzfus Meats and Deli or Instagram @stoltzfusmeats.