Charcuterie is how we celebrated my 24th birthday this past year: for like 4 days straight.

It’s just the best kind of food, right?! A massive board for 2 to pick from, with some wine…you can even put dessert right on the same board as dinner is!

If you’re entertaining, you might be wondering how to ensure your board is perfectly laid out and looking impressive. Here are my top 5 tips (from a non-expert) to ensure a charcuterie spread that’s eye-catching AND tastebud-tantalizing.

  1. Figure out a theme. Is it holiday-themed? Grab some cute little pumpkins for Halloween or rose petals for Valentine’s day. Do something with sprinkles for a birthday or little party poppers for Christmas. Charcuterie is not limited to meats, cheeses, and fruits; nothing is really off limits.
  2. Once you have your theme, figure out what pieces go with it. If you’re celebrating V-Day with your SO, maybe you take inspiration from both of your favourite foods or backgrounds. If it’s Christmas and it’s a large dinner spread, maybe the turkey goes in the centre and you build around it. Charcuterie can be massive, serving heaps of people, or small, for just 2. Figure out the portions you need for your number of guests, and then be sure that you include at least a few selections of meats and cheeses for a savoury board. If you’re doing an all-desserts board, just ensure that you have a variety of shapes and textures.
  3. You’ve bought your groceries. Now it’s time to figure out assembly. I personally like to use photos for loose inspiration, because I just don’t trust myself otherwise. I’ll surf Pinterest for charcuterie photos, or I’ll look through my On Boards cookbook for inspiration (or I’ll follow the recipes!). For assembly, it can be tempting to scatter the foods pretty randomly until the board is mostly full. For the best aesthetic, though, you’ll want to keep the same foods close together in groupings. Reference the photos in this post.
  4. Start assembling! Roughly an hour before you plan to eat, start assembling your board(s). Reference a photo if you’d like, but be sure to get creative: it’s YOUR board, after all! If it looks great to you, that’s all that ultimately matters.
  5. Serve and enjoy with drinks. Wine is must-have for me, but you could do hot chocolate with a dessert board, coffee with a breakfast board, iced tea for a light lunch board…the options are so endless!

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