Recently, I hosted a birthday dinner for a sweet girlfriend. I made a charcuterie board that covered the entire center of the dining room table. It was over six feet long. I love making charcuterie, but this one was my best ever & I thought I'd pass along some tips for making a great board. Below, I've included some of my favorite pieces you can pick up to make your ultimate charcuterie & a full grocery list. I highly recommend you give the charcuterie paper a try. This one item is a game changer if you want to make a unique board for your friends.
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Charcuturie Paper- This is the paper I rolled out on my dining room table for my 6 foot long charcuterie board. It makes for a beautiful table display and it is SO easy to clean up at the end of the night.
White Wine Glasses- Comes in a set of 4. These Italian glasses are made in Europe and are on major sale. 42% OFF!
Stemless Wine Glasses- Look at the gold rim on these glasses. So classy and elegant! They are hand blown and are for white or red wine.
Cheese Knife Set- This set comes with four serving pieces for under $8. They are made of stainless steel with wooden handles and are good for cutting, slicing, & serving different kinds of cheese. If you are making a 6 foot charcuterie like I did, you may want to pick up two packs!
To Go Boxes- At the end of the night, pass out these boxes to each guest & let them wrap up their own charcuterie box to go! This will clear your spread so you have less clean up and make you look like the ultimate hostess!
Charcuterie Board Book- If you need some ideas and motivation, this book has some beautiful displays and covers many different themed boards.
Toothpick Label Flags- I did not get these and wish I would have. There are so many kinds of cheese available and I was asked numerous times what kinds I had... get the labels- cute and functional.
Ramekin bowl- These 3 ounce dipping bowls are perfect for your charcuterie board. Fill with hummus, dips, olives, or to give dimension on the table for grapes or cubed cheese.
Wine Glass Markers- You have to have wine with a charcuterie, right? These wine glass markers are perfect for labeling your glasses or giving funny names to your friends.
Now, let's go shopping for the food to make your board. Here are all the items I like to use!
FRESH FRUIT: Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, apples, pears, blackberries, raspberries * Slice your apples and pears and then let them soak in an ice water bath for 30 minutes with a squeeze of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
VEGGIES: Carrot sticks, yellow & red bell pepper, sliced cucumbers
DRIED FRUIT: Apricots, raisins, & dried figs
MEAT: Prosciutto, Salami, Pepperoni, Black Pepper Salami * Tip- you can get variety packs of these at Costco, Sam's, and Trader Joe's. If you want a top level Salami or Prosciutto, Central Market has wonderful options.
CHEESES: Get a mix of soft and hard cheeses and different colors. I usually get- Brie- Costco & Sam's have a very big wheel for under $12 that is great. If you want the best, find a triple cream brie. Goat cheese- Costco & Sam's also have the best deal around on goat cheese. Drizzle it with honey once you place it on your board. A firm white cheese- I prefer Dubliner cheese (also a great deal at Sam's) & I like this sliced. Sharp Cheddar- Find one that has a dark orange color to it if you are wanting to make a Fall board with Fall colors & pumpkins. I prefer this kind of cheese cubed.
There are so many other options out there like Gorgonzola & Blue Cheese- you can't go wrong. Just remember to mix the colors, textures, & way you serve them to create the best look on your board.
BREAD/CRACKERS: Trader Joe's has some nice options on the crackers. I love their cheese straw crisps and their seasonal crisps that are crunchy and sweet. Add round water crackers, square whole wheat crackers and Pita Chips too. Right before my guests arrived, I put a big round loaf of sourdough in the oven until it was crispy and then tore it into pieces and placed throughout my board.
NUTS: Cashews, Almonds, Mixed nuts, and candied pecans are my favorite. Sams & Costco have the cashew, almonds, and mixed nuts in large containers at the best price point if you are making a big board. If you want a showstopper, get the Marcona Almonds at Central Market (these are very pricey, but incredible).
DIPS: Hummus, Artichoke Dip, Pimento Cheese, FIg Spread
OLIVES: I prefer Kalamata. Central Market & many grocery stores have an olive bar with tons of options.
I added flowers and mini pumpkins to my Fall board. I used the colors from the pumpkins,carrots, bell pepper, apricots, blueberries, & grapes to give it a color pattern that flowed for Fall. If you want to make a Winter board at Christmas, swap out the pumpkins with mini Christmas trees & add darker pieces like raspberries, blackberries, pieces of chocolate, rye toast & blue cheese.
I really love the charcuterie paper as a unique way to share a board with your friends. If you decide to try it out, please send me a pic of your beautiful creation!
I Hope this gave you a few new ideas to try. Have a great week.