UMAi Dry charcuterie making capicola

The Art of a Charcuterie Board

A charcuterie board is a great way to bring people together, to catch up with old friends, or to greet new neighbors. This unique board can be served as an appetizer, meal, or snack.

What makes a charcuterie board so special is that you can personalize the flavor of the board however you want it to be and that there are endless variations. You can bring it to a picnic gathering at a park, you can bring it to a date for two, or you can even bring it to a big party/holiday event. It is so versatile that you really can’t mess it up, it’s a great gateway of trying and experimenting with new flavors this coming year. 

Charcuterie is an assortment of cured, smoked, and fermented meat which features the form of preservation and flavor enhancement. Charcuterie boards focal points are the variations of meats ( beef, pork, venison, duck, fish, etc.) that are accompanied by cheeses, fruits, nuts, crackers, or bread. To learn more about the process of charcuterie check out this resource on UMAi Dry.  

When creating an ideal charcuterie board it is important to keep in mind that it should maintain a balanced flavor and texture so the different qualities of the meats, cheeses, fruits, and crackers can complement the whole board.

The board 

The first thing when preparing a charcuterie board is picking the base--the canvas for your finger feast. You can use any shape or size and it can be big or small. It can even be a larger platter. Any flat surface should be fine.

Once you find a board you are now ready to create the art piece of a charcuterie board where you can decorate and create the presentation however you like. Remember there is no right or wrong, let your artistic side express itself.

The colors

You can blast the appeal of you platter by wandering the produce section of your grocer for fresh fruit and vegetables that bring the rainbow to your platter: Red grape tomatoes, Orange sweet bell pepper, Yellow ground cherries, Green  cucumber, Blueberries, Indigo-colored blackberries, Violet champagne grapes. Add white for contrast with sliced radishes, Marcona almonds, a savory dip, and , of course, your cheeses and bread.

The cheese

You want at least three cheeses--soft and hard, mild and strong

The bread 

A fresh baguette to break or slice, various textures of crackers, even crunchy vegetable sliced into "cracker-like" hefty slices--all you need is something to carry your softer cheeses or meats, and complement the rest.

The meat 

You will need just a couple types charcuterie and salumi. A mild lonzino against a spicy capicola. A fragrant salumi finocchiona against a tingly Spanish Chorizo. 

When it comes to the Star of the Charcuterie Show, it should be surrounded by a stellar cast of supporting characters to enhance the flavors and experience of your feast on a board.