“A bunch of cold meat and cheese on a wooden board” say the critics, but charcuterie boards (or “salumi” boards in the home country) have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years and now the joy Italian, French, and other Europeans enjoyed can be shared with the world. In this blog we’re going to talk about what has made charcuterie boards so popular along with some tips to help you create your own!
So, why are Charcuterie Boards so popular?
At their core Charcuterie boards are a social food. They invite sharing, discussing, and make the PERFECT choice for a party or date so your guests or guest won’t feel pressured by a plated dinner. There’s something for everyone and a board can be customized for many dietary restrictions or preferences. Charcuterie boards can also be built to match any budget, from something modest and casual, to extremely luxurious (here’s a truth; sometimes it’s even hard to distinguish them!), this allows you to adjust the board for the occasion. That level of customization and lack of any real “rules” also allow you to let your creativity run wild and charcuterie boards can be put together with a season or holiday in mind (like our Christmas Boards!).
But, where do we start?
Generally speaking there aren’t really any “rules” for making a charcuterie board, if you are already familiar with cured meats and cheeses we recommend starting with what you enjoy and adding on from there. You can also use pictures found online as inspiration for your board layout, and don’t sweat what kind of board to use, a cutting board of the appropriate size will do nicely, or a large cheese board as well, and if you’ve ever ordered one of Mercato’s Charcuterie Boards then you already have a beautiful branded board ready to go!
We’ve selected some common items below that work great in any combination, and are readily available in our store to give you a head start on your charcuterie board journey! As always our helpful staff in the deli are also available for any questions you may have and can assist you in selecting items that will work. Just remember to keep things casual, have fun, and don’t be afraid to experiment!
- Cured meats
- Salami, Prosciutto, Chorizo, Pepperoni, Mortadella, ‘Nduja, Speck, Coppa, Pancetta, Lardo, Bresaola.
- Hard and soft cheese
- Mozzarella, Cheddar, Emmental, Gouda, Brie, Havarti, Provolone, Blue Cheese.
- Salted or caramelized pecans or walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, almonds or peanuts etc.
- Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, blackberries, dates, prune, dried apricots or peaches.
- Kalamata, Castelvetrano, Liguria/Taggiasca, Cerignola.