Planning a charcuterie board for your next event or gathering? We love the idea and think it’s a wonderful way to add your personal style into your overall presentation. After all, a charcuterie board is an edible form of art, is it not?
Envision a beautiful wood board or your favorite serving tray meticulously lined with an array of delicious meats, cheeses, and vegetables. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to prepare your charcuterie board and create a lasting impression your guests won’t forget!
What is a Charcuterie Board?
Charcuterie is a French word used to describe a variety of cold cooked or cured meats. Since the 15th century, charcuterie has evolved from a heavy focus on cured meats to a modern interpretation: an artistic display including cheeses, fruits, nuts, and herbs. The more modern take has swept the United States and captured our attention. A trend giving inspiring artists and foodies everywhere a reason to collect wood boards, serving trays, bowls, and other utensils to prepare the most satisfying charcuterie display.
Styling a Charcuterie Board
A well-designed wood board will engage your guests and have them looking forward to the next course. Your board design will depend entirely on your vision and style.
You can include the few remaining olives floating in the jar and let those accompany the cornichons you bought for another party a few weeks ago. Or shop a hand-picked selection of gourmet foods and finishing accessories at a local specialty foods store. Luxury boards offer meats and cheeses of a more expensive variety, though costs are easy to manage by being selective about choices and the amount presented.
Each board can be tailored to fit the occasion and guest list. Your vegan friends will certainly appreciate a curated board filled with more veggies, fruits, herbs, nuts, and vegan-friendly spreads with crackers. Add more meat when appropriate or leave the cheese off altogether if necessary – each board is designed to be unique and a reflection of your guests’ preferences.
Build Your Board
Your love for charcuterie boards has you craving one at home, so you’ll need a serving platter. There are options to consider when choosing the proper serving tray for the beautiful boards you are preparing to create. While you may have cutting boards in your kitchen, those are used for a variety of preparations and may not make an ideal serving platter for the artistic presentation you are working towards. Building your own board starts with the right wood board to present a display to your guests that will evoke amazement and awaken appetites.
Find the Right Wood Board
Wood boards can make durable, attractive bases for any artistic food display. Whether you are purchasing your first serving tray or have a large collection, we recommend considering the following:
Flexibility of use
Ideal Material for Your Serving Trays and Boards
It is essential to choose a wood grain that is dense and resilient. Mango wood is a durable and sturdy option, with natural variations in the wood grain that make each piece unique. Practically a piece of art itself, a mango wood serving tray is a suitable pairing to support your work of art.
Ideal Size for Your Charcuterie Board
When considering the size of the serving platters you wish to use, envision the gatherings you will host at your home. Are they large or small? Casual or formal? Or a mix of all these? You will be well prepared with a variety of wood boards in different sizes to build your charcuterie boards as appetizers or the main course, both for a few guests and for many.
Flexibility of Serving Platter Use
Wood boards can have many uses, but we recommend having a few designated just for your artistic vision of charcuterie. A wood board is an ideal serving tray for happy hour drinks, dessert courses, and other appetizers at a dinner party. As stunning as they are functional, wood boards will quickly become your go-to for large gatherings of family and impromptu cocktails with friends.
Adding Visual Interest
A selection of bowls will help create visual depth on your wood board. A variety of sizes and shapes gives visual interest and helps to hold different ingredients. Placing a toothpick holder on your wood board is a must. In addition to providing design elements to work around, these small vessels can also be used for items to be discarded, such as pits, stems, and used toothpicks.
Small Bowls We Love for Charcuterie
The Signature White Ruffle Flare Small Bowl is a versatile design. Effortlessly drawing attention on its own or paired with other coordinating designs like the Buffalo Ruffle Small Bowl for a pleasing pop of color.
Bowls elevate the table design and coordinate the style you wish to achieve. If your charcuterie board is only one course on your dinner menu, use bowls on your wood board that mix and match with the dinnerware your guests will enjoy during the main course. If it will be the only course, layer your favorite bowls on the serving platter – the ones that come with a backstory your guests will enjoy hearing over drinks and savory charcuterie.
Our Favorite Bowls with a Story
Add visual interest to your serving platter and inspire stimulating conversation with a colorful handcrafted bowl on your serving tray. Our Chinese Zodiac Bowls are an ideal party starter. Make a birthday party even more memorable by serving your guests from bowls with the Zodiac sign of the guest of honor!
Spread on the Style
Add style and flair to your serving platter with serving utensils. These utensils can pull double-duty as spreaders and a healthy serving of visual interest. As practical as they are stylish, appetizer spreaders and serving spoons can bring mix-and-match designs to your tablescape and help coordinate your serveware for each course of your dinner party.
Our Favorite Basics
Designed to coordinate with our Iris Blue Collection or add a pop of color to neutral tablescapes, we love the Iris Blue Appetizer Spreader. Our Signature White Knob Serving Spoon is anything but understated when you want to let your colorful food design speak for itself. Let these utensils add function to your board without losing any of the style you want to serve up.
Fill Your Wood Board with Your Favorite Flavors
Whether we are putting together a charcuterie board for an intimate gathering or a dinner party, we start with a few of our favorite things and build a beautiful serving tray. Choosing what goes on your wood board is part of the process, but how it is styled is everything! Keeping your guests in mind, pick a selection of unique items to fit your needs. Here are a few of our favorite things that celebrate our obsession with charcuterie.
Choose your cheeses and how they will be displayed on your board. Cubed, left whole, or sliced, these tasty morsels will be the staple ingredient of your board to tie all the flavors together. Strong, creamy, sweet, or savory – your cheese selection will guide your guests through the delicious display on your wood serving board.
Goat Cheese: We recommend a Herbed Chevre. Add a pinch of salt for a savory touch. For a sweeter option, go with the Honey Chevre.
Brie: Our favorite is a creamy brie, so we picked the Triple Cream Belletoile. Pair with Stone Hollow Farmstead Strawberry Jalapeño Jam for a perfect balance of sweet and spicy.
Blue Cheese: Try the Roquefort Societe. Add this to the edge of your board since it's such a strong cheese.
Cheddar Cheese: We love the Unexpected Cheddar, this cheese is best cut in cubes or wedges.
Parmesan Cheese: Use as the anchor cheese – tip: leave it uncut.
Meats of Choice
Delight your guests with a savory selection of sliced meats and style them on the serving tray near a sweet accoutrement. A rich, salty prosciutto rolled loosely near the base of a small bowl of sweet fig jam will visually pair the two and create a delicious combination. When the charcuterie board is the main event, provide plenty of meats and a wide variety of options for your guests. Consider gourmet deli combinations from Trader Joe’s that include Calabrese Salami, Del Duca Prosciutto, and Capocollo.
We love using bread, toast points, and various crackers as vehicles to let our cheeses shine while adding interest to the eye and palate. Consider using alternatives like sliced apples, pears, cucumbers, and peppers for those who prefer to forego the carbs. Weave your crackers and fruit around the board, between meats and cheeses. Mix in a variety of options to tempt everyone’s tastebuds and highlight the flavors on your wood board.
Add Some Sweet and Salty
Using your bowls and utensils, create interactive displays where your guests dip into the edible art and fill their small plates with sweet and savory bites. Add small bowls of jams to be spread on bread or dipped with vegetables and nuts for extra crunch and texture. Our favorite appetizer bowl, the Iris Blue Pip Ruffle Appetizer Bowl, is perfect for adding almonds, olives, and cheddar cheese straws to any size charcuterie board.
Finish Your Charcuterie Strong
A charcuterie board makes for a flexible offering. It often has a little something for everyone, and with endless options, you can dress the wooden serving board up or down however you choose.
Add fresh herbs and greenery to your wood board to bring balance and color to the design. Add a seasonal small bowl to your serving platter for the holidays or a celebratory appetizer spreader for an intimate gathering of two on Valentine’s Day. Add rosemary or sage to your serving tray for Thanksgiving to highlight the sights and smells of gratitude. Mix these elements onto your serving platter along with your artisanal cheeses and crackers for a well-crafted charcuterie board.
Confidence in Building Your Own Charcuterie Board
An essential element of planning gatherings is confidence in your presentation. If you feel overwhelmed by how to prepare to host larger gatherings, we are here to help. Designing serving platters and styling charcuterie boards is not a skill that comes naturally to all.
With patience and practice, it will begin to feel second-nature. We want you to have an exceptional experience and enjoy the feeling of joy when hosting your friends and family – these wood serving boards are sure to inspire the inner designer in you to emerge!
However you choose to design your own serving platter, you can create an inspiring presentation that will delight your friends and family. Choosing the right wood board is all about the feelings you want to evoke. Consider the gatherings you will host, the memories you will make, and the moments you will share. Imagine the people you care about the most gathered around the food you prepared on a tablescape you designed. Now you’re ready to choose and create the ideal charcuterie board to bring that vision to life!
Creating Memories Around the Table
Every occasion to gather around the table is another opportunity to make memories, and that is what gathering together is all about. Creating the serving platter of your dreams should never be a daunting task. It can be as easy as choosing a beautiful board, layering your favorite decorative bowls, adding serving utensils, and presenting charcuterie in a way that fuels the relationships around you with good food, good conversation, and beautifully coordinated dinnerware.
Now every time you bring out the wood serving board, a celebration is sure to unfold. Your efforts and attention to detail will not go unnoticed, and your charcuterie art is sure to be a topic of conversation at the mention of any upcoming gathering.
As your gatherings expand and your love for creating charcuterie board art grows, continue to add to your serveware collection. Whether you mix and match or choose to stay with one theme, you’ll always be prepared to create an edible display for your guests.