An artful mixture of cheese, cured meats, snacks, and spreads, charcuterie boards can often be the star of the refreshment table at a holiday party. Scrolling through Pinterest charcuterie boards may leave you feeling a bit intimidated, but creating the perfect meat and cheese board is actually much easier than it seems. Here are some charcuterie curating tips, tricks, and must-have items for your party this holiday season.
Select the Right Size and Shape Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards can be made out of a variety of materials — from glass to wood — and are available in all different sizes and shapes. Use your guest list to estimate how many people you expect to make an appearance and pick your board based on how much space you’ll need for meats and cheeses. A good rule of thumb is to put out 3-4 pieces of meat and 2 ounces of cheese per guest. Of course, you can always add more.
Some hosts like to use a round board (pro tip: if you own a wooden pizza paddle, this can double as a charcuterie board in a pinch), while others opt for a rectangular shape. Narrowing down the number of items you plan to include on your charcuterie board will help you select the perfect size and shape.
Use a Mix of Hard and Soft Cheeses
Once you’ve got your board ready, it’s time to add the main attraction — meats and cheese. When crafting a charcuterie board, it’s best to add the meat and cheeses first, then fill in the remaining space with fun snacks, spreads, and decorative items. When choosing your charcuterie items, try to incorporate a range of cheese flavors from mild to bold as well as using both hard and soft kinds of cheese.
Get Creative with the Extra Items
Once you’ve got the mainstays of the charcuterie board down, it’s time to have some fun! Get into the holiday spirit and spice up your charcuterie offerings with seasonal snacks like candied nuts, marshmallows, caramels, peppermints, or candy canes. Winter fruits like cranberries or cranberry jam also make an excellent addition to a holiday charcuterie board. Another way to sweeten up the board is to mix in chocolate or chocolate-covered pretzels. Bonus points if the chocolate is covered in seasonal-colored sprinkles too!
Add Seasonal Decorations
Then tie the entire board together, you’ll want to add a few purely decorative pieces to or around the board. Sprigs of rosemary or pine placed purposefully around the board will add a bit of winter delight. You can also opt to decorate the table surrounding the charcuterie board with larger areas of pine or decorative berries, giving the entire offering a more festive feel. If you’re really looking to set it up a notch, use some small lights to decorate the edges of your charcuterie board.
Pair with Fun, Festive Napkins
Keep your guests clean and smiling by pairing your board with super cute, holiday-related napkins. They can have funny sayings like, “‘Tis the season to be tipsy,” or simply include a holiday-related image like Santa Claus, a mistletoe, a menorah, or dreidel. Keep your festive napkins near the charcuterie for your guests and consider placing holiday-colored toothpicks or utensils near the board as well for easy shareability.
Get Your Charcuterie on This Holiday Season!
Designing, assembling, and serving the perfect charcuterie board can really set the mood for your holiday party. You can never go wrong with a plate of meats and cheeses, but this year, set up your charcuterie game by adding festive snacks, decorations, napkins, and utensils. You’ll have your guests asking you for charcuterie tips in no time!