With the rising popularity of charcuterie boards (to look at and to eat!) I wanted to give my personal crash course on how to join in on the fun! Have you have scrolled deep into the internet hole that is charcuterie boards but don't know where to start? Then this article is perfect for you.

Gather Your Ingredients

I like to break down my boards into four categories: meats, cheeses, carbs, and extras. For an average size board, I typically do 1-2 meats, 2-3 cheeses, 2 carbs, and as many 'extras' as I want. This board has 2 meats (pepperoni and salami), 3 cheeses (goat cheese, cheddar, and parmesan), 2 carbs (crackers and baguette bread), and 8 extras (cucumbers, mixed berries, dill, butter, anchovies, jam, and olives).

Rae Albus

Add Your Cheeses

There are three category of cheese: spreadable, soft, and hard. I like to have one of each to have a variety of textures but whatever you like best works! For spreadable cheeses, especially one with no rind like goat cheese, a small bowl with a drizzle of honey is simple and cute. For a soft cheese like cheddar, I like to cut little bite sized pieces in shapes to make it easier on the eyes. For a hard cheese like parmesan, a crumble is easiest.

Rae Albus

Totally lost on all the types of cheeses? Don't worry, just check out this Spoon University article on the top cheeses you should include on your next board.

Place Your Meats

Using pepperoni, which could be substituted with salami or another cold cut, making a rose ties the board together. Simply take any cup or glass and fold the pepperoni in half on the rim, moving along the edge as you add more pieces to make the petals. Then dump the cup over and lift it off to reveal your perfect meaty rose. For a simpler design, like I did with the salami, you can always just fan out the meats to make a border on your board.

Rae Albus

Include Your Carbs

Now add on the 'vessels' of your meats and cheeses, your carbs! Typically, the meat and cheese will take up the visuals of your board and the carbs will act as space fillers. So, having stacks of bread and crackers serves to fill the board along with maximizing the amount of them to eat (which is the goal)! At this point, you can start adding on some of your extras. I went with cucumbers and olives, since I knew they would take up a bit of space and you don't want anything getting left out.

Rae Albus

Decorate With Extras - and Done!

The last and most important step is to the fill the empty spaces! Add your extras like berries, garnishing herbs, and spreads to any spot feeling empty on your board. If you ever run out of room do not fear! Adding little bowls next to your board allows you to include more options while also making a cuter spread.

Rae Albus

Now that you have finished this Charcuterie Crash Course go try out your new skills and enjoy a charcuterie board!