Let’s be honest, there are two types of hosts in this world: One who simply pours a bag of chips into a bowl and one who sees the food they serve as art. For people who want to elevate their party dishes, it’s important to look closely at how your favorite appetizers – such as meat and cheeses – are paired together.
As a ONE ROQ Member, we want to help you with your next hosting opportunity, so we’ve designed an easy guide to creating an exquisite charcuterie board. And the best part is this board pairs perfectly with any ONE ROQ cocktail.
Discover your inner cheese connoisseur.
Most artists spend time looking at various brushes, paint colors, and textures. Choosing the right cheese is a similar form of art. To get started, it’s best to visit a local cheesemonger who will let you sample different cheeses and give you tips on how to pair them with meats and spirits that best suit your guests.
While you’re choosing cheeses, it’s important to not have too many options since it can overwhelm your guests. Instead, choose one hard cheese, one soft cheese, and one fresh cheese. You can add blue cheese, as well.
Here are a few options to help you get started.
- Asiago – Italian
- Cheddar – American
- Gouda – Dutch
- Gruyere – French
- Brie – French
- Camembert – French
- Taleggio – Italian
- Mozzarella – Italian
- Feta – Greek
- Goat – Local
- Ricotta – Italian
- Italian gorgonzola
- Mild gorgonzola dolce
Move on to the meat.
Meat is much easier to pick out than cheese because you can differentiate the tastes and textures yourself. You can go with more common meats to stay safe, or spice things up and impress your guests with options they’re less familiar with.
- Salami – Cured beef or pork
- Prosciutto – Ham
- Sopressata – Salami
- Mortadella – Italian sausage
- Bresaola – Beef
- Jambon de Bayonne – Ham
- Jamon Iberico De Bellota – Ham
- Jamon Serrano – Ham
- Speck – Ham
- Capicola – Sausage
- Mortadella – Bologna
Add the extras.
Once you’ve picked your cheese and meat, it’s time to make the presentation pop. You’ll want to make sure you choose the perfect arrangement that not only looks beautiful, but also cleanses the palate.
Break your extras into categories:
- Sweet extras could be as simple as fresh or dried fruit. You can also use fruit to add color to the board.
- Salty extras usually mean olives or pickles. Visit your local grocery store for fresh olives stuffed with meat and cheese.
- Crunchy extras, like nuts, add great flavor and texture. Pistachios and macadamias have a rich taste, so they’re always winners.
- Dips also have endless possibilities, like a classic French Onion or fresh hummus.
- Bread is the ultimate extra to your board. Breadsticks, baguette slices, and a variety of crackers will always be a crowd favorite.
When putting it all together, lay the food out so it’s all visible and appealing. Have fun with the arrangement and try boards with different shapes and colors. The more your board looks like a piece of art, the more your guests will appreciate you like the amazing host you are.