October 12th, 2021 | Updated on June 27th, 2022
There’s no such thing as a baseline charcuterie board that everyone should make; these are fantastic opportunities to create something uniquely yours.
With that said, there are some important flavors every board should have to ensure that it’s well-balanced and pleasing to everyone.
These are the top five charcuterie essentials; how you pair them and what you pick will change everything about the board and allow you to surprise yourself every time you make one!
1. Fatty Cheeses
Fatty cheese isn’t the only type of cheese: but there should be at least one on every charcuterie board. This can mean cheddar, colby, swiss, or other cheeses that have a good density but melt in your mouth.
Mix up which ones you choose, and pick based on the overall flavors you want for your board.
For example, if you’re going to use cherry tomatoes as part of your board: use mozzarella as your fatty cheese since these two tie together well.
2. Acidic Flavors
Acidic flavors are a must for every charcuterie board. Without them, the board can be too rich and will taste one note over time.
In addition, the acidic freshens your palette and prepares you for your next bite. The most popular types of acidic add-ons to charcuterie boards are orange and grapefruit segments and pickled things like pickles, radishes, or other tasty favorites. These brighten up the board and keep it fun and light.
3. Savory Meats
Savory meats are a nice addition because they allow you to eat something deeply flavorful that mixes and matches with other items on your board. This can mean salami, expensive prosciutto, or even simple deli-sliced turkey breast.
You can pick and choose which flavors you want based on your tastes, as well as what your budget can afford.
In the end, most charcuterie boards can still taste expensive even if their ingredients cost less than twenty bucks altogether.
4. A Touch Of Sweetness
Some sweetness does similar things to what the acidity does on a charcuterie board, yet it also does so much more. Consider a cranberry pepper jelly for dipping, which can bring cheeses, meats, and even grapefruit slices to the next level.
Or, if you don’t want a dip, you can even offer grapes, strawberries, or chocolate that won’t clash too much with whatever else is on your board.
Many choose to use apple slices: but you should toss these slices with lemon juice before plate them.
Apples brown quickly, and throwing them in a small amount of lemon juice will ensure they look nice on your charcuterie board for as long as possible.
5. Crackers Or Bread
This is an item you shouldn’t forget to emphasize on! The crackers or bread that come with your charcuterie board will need to be fun transit for everything else on your board.
It’s a good idea to go with a mild flavor and a texture that goes against the surfaces of most things on your board.
For a board with a lot of soft cheese, crackers are the better call, while for a board with harder cheeses, you can do thin slices of a softer bread instead.