So you’ve got your favourite meats and cheeses picked out. You have ripe and dried fruit of all varieties; pickles and other condiments abound; bakery fresh bread and even gluten-free crackers– So… Now what do you do?
Not sure? Don’t worry! We’re here to help. Read on for our tips to serving a gourmet charcuterie spread in your very own home.
Vary your selection. Mix and match textures and flavours, without bunching together tastes that are too similar. Consider staggering the selection throughout cocktail or appetizer courses for optimal freshness and diversity.
Charcuterie items are most often served directly on cutting boards, arranged loosely but deliberately. Items should not be crowded together or too sparse; make it is easy for guests to help themselves. Labels can be helpful, especially when serving strongly flavoured foods such as blue cheese, aged salami or spicy mustard.
Encourage guests to be adventurous by offering smaller amounts in a wider variety. Split up charcuterie items into different arrangements so guests can attempt unique blends of flavours and textures. Portioning 100g of meat per guest is a good rule of thumb, but cater to your crowd’s tastes and appetites accordingly.
Most charcuterie items are best served lightly chilled, but should not be left standing at room temperature for more than a couple hours. Prepare smaller boards or platters that can be rotated out of a fridge or cooler to keep them fresh and delicious for your guests.
No matter the flavours or the culture, charcuterie is first and foremost about the eater. Let your guests go wild with a wide variety of foods, utensils and dishware. Labeled cheese knives, slate boards with items identified in chalk and exotic, rarely seen condiments are just a few ways to liven up your experience.
The subtle, curated tastes of a charcuterie board often lend themselves to enjoying them with wine, beer or cocktails. Do not over serve alcohol with your selection, instead: pick complimentary pairings and serve modest portions. This will help prevent your guests from overpowering the flavours of the board you created. Always drink responsibly and never let your guests drink and drive.
Have more questions about preparing, arranging and serving a charcuterie board or platter? D’Arcy’s experts are happy to help. We can provide you with the high quality items and gourmet guidance to cater to a group of any size or taste. Consider our local and handmade charcuterie options to add another level of authenticity to your next wine night, dinner party or any other gastronomic event!