The perfect charcuterie board for your next gathering

Creating your perfect charcuterie board for weddings,bridal showers or your next gathering!

The perfect Charcuterie board for a bridal shower

Meat and cheese plate, antipasto platter, snack board, charcuterie,… While these spreads do have specific differences, they’re similar enough to recognize that these tasty combos are popular for a reason! We all love a good charcuterie board!

With Easter just around the corner, many of us are preparing to host family or friends. Spring is also a popular season for bridal showers and baby showers! Since charcuterie boards make a delicious appetizer, snack, or even light meal for mixed groups, this was the perfect time to do a little post about them! Whether you’re hosting a shower, cocktail hour, holiday gathering, or rehearsal dinner, these diverse tasty spreads are sure to have something for everyone!

The lovely Lauryn Kay Photography joined me in my kitchen to capture the tasty goodness as I built this board. Use the photos as inspiration, then keep reading for tips and ideas for creating your perfect charcuterie spread!

Some quick tips to get you started in creating the perfect charcuterie board:

Quantity: A good rule of thumb is to estimate two ounces of meat and cheese per person if your charcuterie will serve as an appetizer. If you’re doing a light meal, bump that up to five ounces per person.

Variety: Try to use at least two varieties of cheese and two different types of meat, depending on the size of your board. One or two dips or spreads adds variety, then at least two crackers or breads.

Flavors: Keep it interesting with a little bit of sweet, savory, salty, and spicy!

Texture: Play around with contrasting textures: hard vs soft cheese, crunchy pretzels vs creamy dips, dried fruit vs juicy berries.

Color: Visual appeal is one of the best parts of these boards! Pull in deep blues, purples, and reds. Use foods like dragon fruit or blood oranges to add gorgeous color and texture.

Building your board:

1. Start with your base. While natural (food safe) wood boards make for a stunning presentation, don’t be afraid to use bold, colorful platters. You can also use all white trays and platters to create a blank canvas that allows the textures and colors of the food to stand out. Also, don’t feel limited to one large tray! Mix a variety of plates and boards to create an entire charcuterie table!

2. Add your anchors. Use small bowls to keep spreads/dips and wet items separate (pickles, olives, etc). Place your cheeses and meats. Depending on the meat, you can pre-slice or fold the pieces, then stack and/or arrange on your board.

3. Start filling. Now that the main components have been prioritized, add your next largest items (usually the crackers and breads). I like to add fruits and vegetables next, putting complementary colors and textures against each other. Finish off with nuts (they’re great for filling gaps).

4. Fill your bowls with your wet items. Add accents with sprigs of fresh herbs or small flowers!

5. Enjoy!

One of the best things about charcuterie boards (other than the mounds of amazing food) is how easily you can customize them for any food allergies, preferences, or diets! I once made a board that accommodated vegan, keto, and gluten free. By either eliminating a food type or simply keeping items separate, the possibilities are endless. Here are some examples to get you started:

Vegan charcuterie: focus on berries, fresh and dried fruits, nuts, hummus, tapenade, veggies, crackers, and bread.

Gluten free charcuterie: fruits and veggies (use fun, colorful options), gluten free crackers, pickles, olives, cheeses, nuts, and meats.

Keto or low carb charcuterie: berries, veggies, pickles, olives, nuts, cheeses, meats, tapenade, dairy based dips/spreads, seed or nut based “crackers”.

My last piece of advice: have fun with it!

Be as creative as you want and customize it however you’d like! Food is a beautiful way to bring people together. Celebrate all the tastes and textures out there by making your own beautiful collection of delicious food to share with your friends or family!

Perfect charcuterie board for a wedding cocktail hour

If this post inspires you to create a the perfect charcuterie board, we’d love to hear about it! Tag @valeriesenff @ckeventdesign and/or #cklifestyle so we can cheer on your beautiful creations!

All our best <3

Valerie & the CK Team

Photo credit: Lauryn Kay Photography

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