How to Build a Charcuterie Board
Step by step instructions and diagram
Charcuterie boards are a beautiful and versatile way to entertain during holiday gatherings and create the perfect opportunity to offer special seasonal delicacies in bite sized portions. These boards have become extremely popular in recent years and some very extravagant setups can be seen on social media. Don’t let these seemingly complicated appetizers intimidate you, using a few of these tips and with a few quality centerpiece ingredients you can be a sure way to create a party worthy board in minutes!
Choose a centerpiece item
When creating a charcuterie board it can be difficult to know where to begin. We suggest choosing one special, high-quality food item as your “centerpiece” for the board. This will not only help you break up space easier but will help set a theme for the rest of your offerings. Our blueberry cured gravlax make for an excellent centerpiece offering and start to any board because of its striking color. Gravlax is a cured fish and comes ready to eat. Our special blueberry cured Copper River salmon gravlax is a unique treat and when sliced on the diagonal creates a color combination of rich red salmon and deep purple blueberry.
Pair from the center out
Once you’ve found the centerpiece item the next step is to add small offerings all over the board that pair well. For our blueberry Gravlax for example we paired crisp, cool cucumber and soft, creamy cheeses such as brie. Use these flavor paired elements in several places along the charcuterie board to create symmetry. Once you have two to four spots filled with these pairings you can continue to work off of those flavor profiles to add additional items such as hard cheeses, dried fruits and olives.
Include different options for each item
Instead of offering just one type of salmon, consider presenting options to your guests. Some may prefer the smooth texture of cured salmon while others will appreciate the classic taste of our smoked salmon jars. This goes for other items as well such cheeses, meats and olives. Additional varieties of items on the board will introduce more color into the overall visual presentation. Mixing textures and flavors throughout your board will elevate the eating experience of your board and encourage your guests to try new combinations!
Fill in with favorites
Once you have your major items in place, you can move them around until you are happy with the symmetry and overall appearance of the board. After you are satisfied with your general pairings fill the board with small, finger food favorites. These items don’t necessarily have to match with any other piece but simply create variety and complete the board space. Consider adding chocolate pieces, grapes, mixed nuts and capers throughout the spread. Focus on food that are easily to grab and go for these little pockets and try to pair their colors with larger food items, for example contrast auburn colored smoked salmon with bright green pumpkin seeds or accentuate the purple hue of blueberry gravlax with fresh grapes.
Don’t forget the crackers!
Lastly but certainly not least is to serve your charcuteries board with options for plating the delicacies. You can use one large plate of crackers or crostinis, or incorporate a variety of crackers throughout the board itself if it's large enough. This will finish off the appetizer into a complete piece. Now you can create a cream cheese cracker with smoked salmon and capers form the board for example, or perhaps a gravlax wrapped cucumber slice with brie. Keep in mind the different types of crackers offered as well in order to not overpower the more delicate textures of items like gravlax and caviar.