What is Charcuterie?

char·cu·te·rie | \ (ˌ)shär-ˌkü-tə-ˈrē \

: a delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes

also : the products sold in such a shop

Nowadays, when people refer to a charcuterie board they are talking about a tray full of meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetable, breads, sauces, and anything else that they might want to add. This tray sits out so that the guests can help themselves to any of the bite sized items on it.

What type of board should you use?

You can be completely creative here. Any flat surface that is food safe can be used. Wooden cutting boards, ceramic or glass platters, slate trays. Or, line your dining table or kitchen island with butcher paper and lay out your charcuterie directly on it.

What Goes on a charcuterie platter?

The sky’s the limit. Anything that is bite sized can go on a charcuterie board. Below are some examples.



  • Assortment of Hard and Soft Cheeses

  • Small Cheese Balls

  • Cheese Spreads

Fresh Fruit

  • Grapes

  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Apples

  • Oranges

  • Blackberries

  • Raspberries

  • Olives

Dried Fruit

  • Apricots

  • Mango

  • Raisins

  • Pineapple


  • Peppers

  • Onions

  • Celery

  • Cucumbers

  • Carrots

  • Radishes

  • Broccoli

  • Cherry Tomatoes


  • Cashews

  • Peanuts

  • Almonds

  • Pistachios

Crackers & Breads

  • Any Cracker

  • Bite Size Pieces of Bread

  • Use a small round bread, tear out the middle to make a bowl, and use it to hold a dip. Take the piece that you tore out and break it into bite size pieces and add it to the tray.


  • Jams

  • Honey

  • Hummus

  • Dips

  • Cheese Spreads

How do you assemble a charcuterie plate?

    1. Start with your base. Use any flat(ish) surface you’d like. It can be made out of glass, wood, ceramic, slate… You can also use a kitchen table or island.
    2. Add small bowls or stands to hold sauces and other items. This will create visual interest and give height to your board.
    3. Start laying out each of your food items. Add little bits of each item in more than one spot on the board.
    4. Pay close attention to size and color. You do not want to have the same size and colors next to each other. Folding each type of meats and cheese differently is a good way to keep it interesting. You may want to slice your summer sausage and then roll your prosciutto. You can slice some cheese and then cube some too.
    5. Add a good variety so that there is sure to be something for everyone. Keep adding until your tray is heaping full.
    6. You can use small bowls for dips on your platter. Having a cheese ball spreader and some small tongs, forks, and spoons is nice for serving.

This is a great way to entertain and feed your friends and family. Charcuterie boards look amazing, there’s very little cleanup, and you can bet that there will be something for everyone on it.



How To Keep Charcuterie Board Fresh Outside

When it comes to keeping a charcuterie board fresh and delicious outdoors, a few key considerations can help maintain its quality and appeal. First and foremost, temperature control is crucial. Ensure that the board is not exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat, as this can cause the meats and cheeses to spoil or lose their desired texture. If possible, place the board in a shaded area or use a canopy or umbrella to provide shade.

Next, take steps to preserve the freshness of the ingredients. Use cool packs or ice packs strategically placed around the board to keep the meats and cheeses chilled. Alternatively, consider using chilled serving platters or boards to help maintain a lower temperature.

Another important aspect is protecting the charcuterie from insects and airborne debris. Use food covers or mesh nets to shield the board from unwanted guests while allowing air circulation. This will prevent contamination and maintain the hygienic integrity of the spread.

Lastly, be mindful of the duration the charcuterie board remains outside. As time passes, the risk of spoilage increases. It is recommended to serve the board within a couple of hours to ensure optimal freshness. If leftovers remain, promptly refrigerate them to maintain their quality for future enjoyment.

By implementing these tips, you can keep your charcuterie board fresh, visually appealing, and safe for consumption while enjoying the outdoor ambiance and delightful flavors it offers.


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