First, it was platter food, and now it’s a Charcuterie Board that has taken over the food fashion industry.
I’ll eat food snacks, appetizers or nibbles, whether on a platter, charcuterie board or plate.
However, purchasing a charcuterie board or many of different sizes is key to offering guests finger foods worldwide.
Let’s chat about fun foods to put on a charcuterie board and where you can buy one if you aren’t interested in the DIY board approach.
Food Platters vs. Charcuterie Boards
Today, everything has become fashion-forward with fancy wood charcuterie boards dressed with just about any food you can think of.
Growing up, Mrs. CBB is very familiar with meats, cheeses and antipasto on a plate and in a bowl.
It wasn’t as fancy as today because it didn’t need to be since there was more of an appreciation for having food.
You can still buy party platters with fruits, crackers, meats and cheese, or dessert platters from any grocery store.
The cool thing about the charcuterie board is that it showcases well, and you keep it for life.
You’re also eliminating plastic waste from traditional platters from going into the landfill.
What Is A Charcuterie Board?
The best charcuterie board is made of solid wood and comes in various sizes and shapes.
A charcuterie board is both French and Italian, where the Italian call it “Salumi,” and in French, the dominant product is a variety of cured or processed meats.
Like most people trying to pronounce charcuterie is tough. I learned the name from my sister-in-law as she loves making the Shar-Coo-Ta-Ree board for parties.
We have an old-fashioned Italian charcuterie board with a handle called a solid wood cutting board.
It’s been in my wife’s family for years, and now we use it for the same purpose when we have guests.
When I moved to Canada, I brought a handmade solid wood round charcuterie board. (not by me).
Most modern charcuterie boards that I’ve seen come with a handle that helps pass it around or carry it to a table quickly.
The emphasis is on the wood grain and the finish on the board, which allows for a fancy look.
Buying A Charcuterie Board
I’m almost sure there are people in every city and village across Canada where someone makes homemade charcuterie boards.
Ask your local Facebook friends if they know where to buy charcuterie boards in your area.
You can also find charcuterie boards on Amazon Canada
Our favourite charcuterie board has a long handle, just like the photo below.
This board is called a TOSCANA – a Picnic Time brand Artisan Raw Edge Charcuterie Boards, 30-inch, Acacia Wood.
Gift A Charcuterie Board
Friends of ours who are jetting away to Rome to get married held a wedding shower for the bride.
Each of the guests received a small charcuterie board custom-made by her father.
Gifting charcuterie boards is a fantastic idea for Christmas, Birthday, Wedding Showers, etc.
I don’t know anyone who would turn up their nose to a board unless they would never use it.
Charcuterie Board Display Ideas
You can include many foods on a charcuterie board to impress your guests before the main meal.
You can also create a board that is the main meal of the day, whether it be lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch.
From a frugal perspective buying meats and cheeses that you can slice will be economical.
For example, we buy cured salami at Costco and slice it ourselves.
When displaying the foods on your charcuterie board, include small bowls filled with dips or sauces.
Also, it’s easier to build the board higher if you fold the cured meats and cheeses.
Doing so also helps your guests retrieve the food without being stuck with more than they wanted.
An example might be a person wanting one slice of provolone, but they are layered flat.
If using a fork to retrieve a slice, the user may end up with more than one slice if the cheese is laid flat.
We were gifted this cheese knife set, and we use it often if we make a charcuterie board for two.
You don’t want guests getting too much of something they want but don’t eat, especially if kids are in attendance.
Food waste is a big deal for our family, so we plan our board and consider the removal process.
You’ll also find that it cuts down on the costs especially if you have to go into the kitchen to replenish.
Below, I will share the least expensive way to create your board and common foods included on a charcuterie board.
Keep small forks and spoons handy for your guests to pick out what they want from the board.
If you want to get fancier, offer small pairs of tongs instead of spoons and forks.
Never use your fingers to take food from a charcuterie board, and keep a stack of napkins nearby.
Common Foods On A Charcuterie Board
Below are classic foods you may find on a charcuterie board.
You can control what goes on the charcuterie board based on the budget you have.
- Cheeses can be both hard and soft and cut into small cubes or other shapes such as rectangular. Brie, Cheeseball, Feta, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmigianno Regianno, Gouda, Swiss, Provolone and mini bocconcini balls.
- Cured meats can be pricey, so if you want to keep the costs low, find the least expensive cuts from your deli or pre-packaged at the grocery store. You might even cure meats at home, which costs less, and you get to choose the ingredients and flavour. Although this method is very old-school but still done today. Cured Sausage, Bacon, Ham, Chicken and Roast Beef.
- Crackers, Pretzels, Pork Rinds and Bread, are a must on any charcuterie board that would go well with a soft cheese spread. Cream Cheese plain or with flavour are perfect ideas.
- Jellies, Jam, Maple Syrup, Honey Mustard, Mustard, Tzatziki dip, Ranch dip, Hummus dip, Eggplant dip, onion dip, sour cream and plain Greek Yogurt.
- Vegetables of any description are perfect; however, remember to keep the portion sizes small and offer a variety of colours. This type of board also caters to vegans and vegetarians and the low-carb and keto diet.
- Fruits and Nuts such as strawberries, seedless grapes, blueberries, melon, orange slices, and watermelon chunks can go on a fruit charcuterie board. Use a plain, thick Greek yogurt dip in the centre or off to the side.
- Nuts of any description are perfect for a food platter, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, etc.
- Antipasto such as pitted olives, pickled asparagus, kimchi, pickled beets, pickled peppers, pickles gherkins and pickled eggplant. Pickled eggs are also another great protein to add to your board.
- Dried fruits such as dried apricots, dried figs, dried Gogi berries, and raisins look fancy but are inexpensive to buy.
Another fantastic suggestion is to visit Costco if you are feeding a larger crowd to buy in bulk.
Own More Than One Board
If you own more than one board, another fantastic option to showcase a variety of cheeses for cured meats, antipasto and bread with crackers.
I’ve linked to my recipes below some of which are Keto but will give you ideas.
Basically, if you plan on a large Charcuterie Board head to Costco for the best prices.
- Cheese varieties that fit your budget as there are SO many varieties but don’t go overboard.
- Cured Meats are great but if you can buy them in bulk and slice it yourself they will be cheaper.
- Nuts of any description that you can also buy in bulk at Costco
- Dried Fruits
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Bread, Bagels, Crackers, Pretzels, mini pita bread, tortilla wraps or folio cheese wraps
- Bite-Size desserts including keto such as brownies, cookies, muffins, squares, butter tarts etc. Check out my Keto Recipes Index for more ideas for keto and desserts.
Simple Charcuterie Board Serving Sizes
Depending on the occasion and how many people will be attending, your charcuterie board can take on many sizes.
Before planning your charcuterie board list, it’s essential to know how many people you need to serve.
Bits and Bites blog has this incredible infographic that gives you a serving size breakdown.
You’ll notice that the author did not add bread and crackers; you can add them on the side.
Katie has a fantastic blog for food prep and easy meal planning, so definitely check it out.
Charcuterie Boards Overview
When it comes to purchasing a charcuterie board, many options are available for every budget.
Purchasing a well-made charcuterie board should last forever, provided you take care of it.
We clean and sanitize our board with hot water, vinegar, and soap, then dry it right away.
Overall, with the rising costs for food in Canada, keeping parties or special occasions simple is best.
Reduce the waste costs and buy something that you will use often and last you a lifetime.
I’m a massive fan of trying various foods and preserves when I attend a gathering.
Now you know why I have three charcuterie boards in different sizes.
Discussion: What would you put on your charcuterie board? Please leave me your questions below.
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