Step-by-step directions and ingredients for a Holiday Charcuterie Board.
We have discovered the joy of the Charcuterie Board, which is just a fancy way to say Meat and Cheese Board.
Literally, ‘Charcuterie’ is defined as the branch of cooking related to prepared meat products. But the term has also been loosely applied to meat trays accompanied by an assortment of cheese, fruits, nuts, and other accompaniments. If we really wanted to make Merriam-Webster happy, we would say ‘Charcuterie and Cheese Board’, but that’s just 2 extra words we don’t need, so we are sticking with Charcuterie Board. With that vocabulary lesson out of the way, let’s move on.
Now that both of our little fledglings have flown the nest, we often find ourselves sitting on our new back porch come dinner time and pulling out a variety of meats and cheeses, olives, nuts and preserves for a casual dinner.
Since the weather has chilled, we have moved our Charcuterie Board indoors and in front of the fireplace. In truth, we have long been a family that enjoys their meat and cheese platters; we often order it in restaurants as our group appetizer and we have been doing our version of Christmas Cheese Board on the day after Thanksgiving as we decorate our home for the holidays
For the holidays, we just amp up the festive colors and change out some of the fruits, but in essence, it is the same year-round meat and cheese board.
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Include a variety of cheeses like:
Include a variety of meats like:
Consider seasonal produce and preserves for your Charcuterie Boards. Some suggestions are:
In general, for a holiday-themed meat and cheese board, consider the colors that you want to accentuate. On my board, I wanted a festive red and green theme, so I found red-topped toothpicks and used cranberries and greens for garnishing. The green in the olives and cornichons and red in the sugared cranberries helped me to further carry that color scheme.
I find that filling as much space on the board as possible creates the most attractive Charcuterie Board.
If your meat and cheese board is for appetizers, figure on a total of 3 ounces per person. Double that to 6 ounces if the Charcuterie Board will be the main coarse.
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