Your Guide To The Perfect Holiday Cheese Platter

Cheese platters, also known as charcuterie boards, often consist of the perfect mix of sweet and savory flavors and are perfect for any gathering.

cheese platter
UNSPLASH Derick McKinney

Did you know that the French term “charcuterie” means delicatessen and serves as a broad word to define processed meats? A French charcuterie board looks very different from the American art form of building a cheese platter, since it contains meat as the primary ingredient. In this new age of the cheese platter, we can celebrate its origin while experimenting with new flavors and presentations.

Meat:

meat river
INSTAGRAM @charcuteriecheeseboard

Cold cut meat is the best to use on your board as it is easy to assemble and often comes in perfect bite-sized pieces for your guests to enjoy. Bacon, pepperoni, prosciutto or any other smoked / cured meats are ideal. Play around with a mixture of textures and flavors. For example, if you want to use thin cuts of prosciutto, also add thick spicy pepperoni for balance. Assemble your selection of meats in a river like formation for a trendy look to your cheese board.

Cheese: 

@fiftyshadesofgruyerethank y’all for 100k 💞 here’s a board I made for my friends and I!! #fyp #charcuterie #TikTokRecipe #ACupgrade #TheWeekndEXP #GotMilkChallenge♬ original sound – alden

Similar to the meat, you want to have an assortment of textures and flavors of cheese on your charcuterie board. To make it simple, try using one hard, one soft and one flavored cheese. You can’t go wrong with blueberry encrusted goat cheese – my personal favorite. Place them in three separate areas of your platter, then surround them with crackers and any ingredients you choose to display.

Crackers:

Cut up a baguette, make your own crostini or use pre-packaged crackers. It really doesn’t matter what you use as long as there is some vehicle to add a crunchy base to the delicious cheese and meats. I personally recommend raincoast crisps crackers that have fruit and nuts in them.

Fruit and Nuts:

Cheese Board
UNSPLASH Liz Joseph

Now that you have the main ingredients down, it is time to get fancy with your own flare. Add your favorite berries, sliced apples or dried fruit for a natural sweetness to balance out the cheese. Also, add pecans, walnuts and almonds onto any gaps. The more crowded the platter, the better.

Garnish:

Like true holiday fashion, adding bundles of rosemary or other spices is essential to creating the perfect holiday-themed cheese platter. You can even add colored tooth picks to cubes of cheese or pieces of meat!

The possibilities of items to add to your charcuterie platter are truly endless and are sure to have something for everyone at your next holiday event!

Katherine McGowan

Contributor

Katherine is a New Jersey native who is passionate about understanding culture through its history and food. You can most likely find her enjoying an Aperol Spritz with a local or getting lost on a windy cobblestone road. Some of her other favorite cities are NYC, Amsterdam, London and Rome.

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