Tempt the eye, satisfy the taste buds…
You wouldn’t believe how often I’m asked What Makes a Good Charcuterie Board. The answer is a lot simpler than you might expect. The two most important and, I have to admit, obvious aspects are tempting the eye and satisfying the taste buds.
Dealing with the “look” first, the Board must offer a contrast of shapes, sizes and shades of colour. This means at least three different types of Charcuterie and probably no more than six – more than that and it all gets a bit confusing. Arrange the Charcuterie by product in slices for easy accessibility and in these coronavirus-ridden days, add forks for spearing. Grabbing with fingers is not to be encouraged.
Add further interest by introducing pickles, relishes, olives, cornichons, nuts, fruit – dried or fresh figs or grapes, even salad leaves - and, either on the board or easily to hand, crackers or bread & butter.
As far as the taste goes, go for the contrast of the different types of Charcuterie Products to accentuate the different textures and flavours. If possible, choose a variety of meats – slices of game salami or beef bresaola – so not every product is pork-based.
It maybe stating the obvious but avoid more than two of any type of Charcuterie. One plain and one flavoured salami or one air-dried and one cooked ham is fine. More than that could be overkill.
Always allow the Charcuterie to come up to room temperature and if it comes vacuum packed, plenty of time to breathe. Like cheese, Charcuterie should never be served straight from the fridge.
Having grasped these simple fundamentals, all that remains is to tuck in and enjoy!!
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