How to Build a Thanksgiving-Themed Charcuterie Board
What is charcuterie?
Charcuterie (pronounced SHAR-coo-tuh-ree) is the art of preparing and assembling cured meats and other meat products. Many people use the term charcuterie to refer to an assortment of meats that are paired with different accompaniments, such as toast or crackers, nuts, fruits, gourmet cheese, and gourmet sauces or jams.
If you want to offer a charcuterie board on your menu, there are a handful of basics to understand first, from identifying some of the most popular types of charcuteries, to what makes an impressive, completed board.
What’s included in a charcuterie board?
A typical charcuterie board consists mainly of meats and cheeses. At many restaurants or house parties, it is common that these boards include bread, fruits, nuts, condiments such as honey or mustard, pickles, and olives.
Many of the common meats that are considered to be charcuterie include capicola, salami, and prosciutto. Dry-cured chorizo and mortadella are also regularly used meats in terms of charcuterie.
Cheese is a must. When it comes to cheese, it comes down to what pairs better with the meat on your platter.
A typical board has a variety of different cheeses. Aged cheddar or aged gouda are popular choices. So are cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano or gruyere. There should always be contrasting cheeses so each bite can have a different flavor profile to it.
Eating charcuterie typically involves drinking some type of alcohol with it, usually wine. A simple reason is that a bottle of wine is great for many people in one sitting, especially during the holidays like Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I really enjoy sharing food with loved ones and creating memories around the table.
Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board Basics
This holiday season, build a gorgeous autumn charcuterie board that will keep your hungry guests at bay! Learn how to build a seasonal charcuterie board that will look gorgeous on your Thanksgiving table.
How Much Food Should I Buy For My Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board?
A general rule of thumb is 3-4 slices of meat per person and 1-2 oz. of cheese per person. From there, you can add in additional items based on your guest count.
The best part of creating any charcuterie board is that it’s a blank canvas! I think that’s why I love building charcuterie boards so much; it allows me to tap into my creative side. You can choose whatever you’d like for your board, but here are some basic ingredients I recommend for any charcuterie board.
- 3-4 slices of meat per person – variety of flavors and textures
- 1-2 oz. of cheese per person – variety of flavors and textures
- Fresh seasonal fruit
- Dried seasonal fruit
- Assortment of nuts
- Assortment of crackers
- Jams and spreads
- Seasonal treats
Step-by-Step Instructions: Fall Charcuterie Board
Start With A Board or Platter
You can use any large serving plate like a cutting board, slate, marble or ceramic platters.
Add A Variety of Cheeses & Nuts
Choose 1-2 oz. of cheese with a balance between soft and hard cheese in a variety of flavors.
Add An Assortment of Crackers & Fruits
Figs, pomegranate, pears, dried cranberries, apples, and grapes are good options.
Add A Few Kinds of Cured Meats
You’ll want 3-4 slices of cured meat per person in a variety of flavors and textures.
Don’t Forget the Greens
Include herbs like rosemary and olives for a pop of color and aroma on your board.
Finish With Jam or Spread
Complete your board with seasonal, sweet, and spreadable like jams, jellies, or preserves.
Think of your board as a blank canvas and let your creativity flow!
Important Charcuterie Board Prep Tips
- Start with the larger items and fill from there.
- Time-saving tip: Slice any cheese or fruit the night before and store in an air-tight container overnight.
- Be sure to ask your guests about food allergies!
- Get creative. Add in fruit jams and spreads, chocolate, or whatever you’d like!
Your guests will enjoy a selection of sweet and salty elements in your Thanksgiving charcuterie board. Like these sweet and salty chocolate bark, or chocolate popcorn. Make your cheese board fun.
A delicate balance between flavors and textures is key!
Just like that, you have your own gorgeous charcuterie board! If you take it step by step, it doesn’t have to be scary. You’ll be ready to rock your Thanksgiving event or gathering. Enjoy!