Who doesn’t love charcuterie and cheese? It’s perfect for the adults to graze on while the kids are having the time of their life at their birthday party.
When thinking about planning the charcuterie and cheese board for your party, start with how many people will be attending. It will depend on how hungry your guests are along with if there is any other food at your party, but a good rule of thumb is for every 10 people you can expect to have three different types of cheeses and one type of salami.
You want a variety of items for your board – color, height, product and taste – savory, sweet, sour.
Savory can include cheeses such as dill or peppercorn cheeses. There are many different savory cheeses to choose from. You’ll want to look for an array of hard cheeses and soft cheeses for variety. Goat’s milk cheese is great for guests who are allergic to cows milk.
Once you have your cheeses picked out, you can add in various types of crackers, breads and nuts. For the boards I created, I added in wheat crackers, club crackers, French bread and mixed party nuts.
Mozzarella cheese balls are a great addition for something different. Find the ones in oil at your local deli counter.
Finally, you can’t forget the charcuterie. I like to use salami and pepperoni but there are many different kinds to choose from.
You’ll want to add in a sour aspect to your boards. Peppadews (found in your local deli counter), olives and gherkins are all great choices.
Sweet elements give a nice balance to the savory and sweet aspects of your boards. Some sweet elements that can be incorporated include grapes, blackberries, chocolate covered almonds and honey roasted almonds. You can also introduce sweet style cheeses such as cranberry, honey goat or blueberry stilton cheese for something new and exciting.
A great tip is to consider adding more flavor to economy cheeses by drizzling with balsamic glaze, pink sea salt, black pepper or other spices.
Building Your Board
Start by getting the items you’ll build your charcuterie and cheese setting on. This could be a wooden cutting board, a large ceramic platter, or any kind of food safe board. Get creative with this!
To give interest, I like to use various small plates and jars to put items in. I put those items in the containers first so I know what I have to work with.
Start in one corner with your tallest items first. For my boards, I put the mozzarella balls in a container and started with that since that was my tallest item. I also put whole grain mustard in a small bowl and some chocolate covered almonds in a bowl on a plate with some charcuterie and cheese fanned out around the bowl.
Layer in a few cheeses around the board fanning them out so guest can easily grab a piece. Add in soft cheeses around the hard cheese to give guests different flavor profiles to try.
Add in some various charcuterie pieces around the cheeses, filling in some of the larger gaps. Add in some extra crunch with some honey roasted almonds and garnish with rosemary.
Finally, drizzle some balsamic glaze and/or pink sea salt on some of the cheese to add a flavor depth and dimension.
That’s it for the large board! Easy!
For my table, I chose to have three different boards. I put my crackers and bread on a small wooden board and included a second meat and cheese board. For this board I rolled some larger salami pieces for interest and stuck them under some grapes. I love the contrast that grapes, salami and cheese have.
While this board is smaller, I built it the same way as the large one – starting with the peppadews in a container and then layering in the meat and cheese and grapes. Each board should have elements of savory, sour and sweet. The smaller board contains the charcuterie and cheese as the savory element, the peppadews as the sour element and the grapes as the sweet element.
I added all of my crackers, bread and mixed nuts on a wooden block to add interest to those items.
For a smaller party, you can easily add all items to one board or for a larger party go all out and create many boards.
I’ve created this gif of how I created my large charcuterie and cheese board.
And there you have it! How to build your next charcuterie and cheese board.
If you build your own charcuterie and cheese board, please share it on social media! Tag us using @helloinvites and the hashtag #helloinvitesparties so we can see it!
Have a great party!