It’s Charcuterie Board Season.
Charcuterie boards are popping up every. Cooking shows, restaurant menus, pop culture and your local party if you are lucky. Beat everyone to the punch and get your own. A charcuterie platter cannot simply be a plate from your kitchen, it needs to be unique, a good slab of wood, granite or slate.
Rustic Wares has been making, using and selling charcuterie boards before they were a thing, even before they even had a name I suppose. My family has been making salami and pickled vegetables from the garden for as long as I can remember. During any family gathering, birthday party, Christmas, whatever we would put out a spread filled with salami, pickled cucumbers – also known as pickles, homemade cheese and then filled out with nuts, olives, onions, crackers and bread.
Now that charcuterie boards have hit it mainstream I want to point out a few things you want to look for.
- Pick a size that works in the room you will be in, but also for how many people will be at the party or dinner and how much charcuterie and sides you offer. You do not want things piled on top of each other with flavors running in to one another – keep them separate.
- It can be porous. We love the live-edge look that is popular right now. It provides the feeling of bringing the outdoors in, the feeling of raw nature in your house, no matter if you are 50 floors up in Manhattan. If you are not cutting/preparing raw chicken or meat on it – go ahead and let that live-edge fly.
- I mentioned this before but using slate is a great way to be able to write in chalk what you are serving. Cheeses, meats, nuts, mustards, pickled shit – let them know before they recoil in horror that its duck breast prosciutto or Bambi meatballs. Some people just don’t live dangerously enough to get it.
- If its wood = no dishwasher. This mainly goes for charcuterie boards made from several pieces of wood. Most of the times they are glued together – which is fine as todays wood glue can be stronger than the natural fiber bonds within the wood, but heat can be it’s enemy. Tossing a wooden board in to a dishwasher opens yourself up to glue failure, warping, just don’t do it.
- Do crackers belong on a charcuterie platter? Great question. Crackers and bread can take up a lot of real estate on board and I find that they typically get placed on another surface. I like to put a bunch of different kinds of crackers and breads in a towel lined basket. If you are going all out, no matter what the size of your board you will fill it and then run out of room for the charcuterie delivery device. Play it safe and go with another vessel.
- Cured meats, cheeses, olives, pickled anything, strong mustard, nuts, fruit, jams and jellies – make it your own, anything goes on charcuterie platters.
I hope this list helps, enjoy the meat and the party.