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CHARCUTERIE // Stop Adding These 10 Ingredients To Your Charcuterie Boards!

You definitely don't want to miss #7!

Making a Charcuterie board is like creating a work of ART! And just like any art piece, you need the right supplies and tools for the job. And sometimes you need to stop what you are doing and ask yourself "why?".


Whether making a board for 100 people or your close family and friends, planning ahead will always be your best bet.


Here are my top tips on what NOT to include on a Traditional Style Charcuterie board -->


1. STINKY CHEESES


The cheese section at the grocery store can be overwhelming and intimidating. If you start looking at fancy cheeses and glance at the price tag, it can make your eyes pop out of your head. So stick to only the favorites cheddar, white cheddar, Brie, Boursin, Goat, Manchego and Gouda. A warning: some people love super stinky cheese, and others do NOT. I am in the latter. I am not trying to discourage you from buying and trying fancy cheeses. Make sure it will be a crowd favorite before spending your paycheck on one you will end up tossing.





2. FRUITS THAT GO BROWN


Charcuterie boards are known for being over the top and so colorful. All of these incredible colors are thanks to, in large part, the fruits. Bananas, pineapples and melons are not such a great idea. Bananas can be mushy and turn brown quickly; melons and pineapples can be juicy, and the juices might mix with other foods. Here is a list of great fruits to include on a Charcuterie board: Apples, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, oranges and pears. These can be sliced and presented beautifully.





3. SPICY FOODS


Okay, so I am definitely in the camp of an excellent spicy dressing, sauce or jam. But if you are serving food to a large crowd, you should label these items and warn the group or choose to pass on serving them altogether. Many people are sensitive to spicy foods and suffer when eating these foods. I generally steer clear of spicy foods when making Charcuterie for a group. When I make food for my family and myself - I like it HOT!





4. CRACKERS & BREAD


Food on a charcuterie board should be ready and easy to pick up and eat. When buying bread and crackers, avoid ones that are hard to chew. Choose fresh, soft baguettes that you can warm in the oven and crispy, flavorful crackers. Here are a few crackers I like: 34 Degrees Thin Crackers, Carr Water Crackers, pretzels, puff pastry and French Sourdough Baguette. You can also plate these separately from the charcuterie board to leave more room for the other goodies.





5. Veggies


Veggies are another way to add variety, flavor and textures. Luckily the produce section is brimming with colorful options. There are a few that I would stay away from eggplants, brussels sprouts, turnips, beets, zucchini and mushrooms. Many of these vegetables taste best when cooked, and Charcuterie boards generally don't include steamed or cooked veggies. Here are the fresh veggies I like on the charcuterie boards I make: cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snap or sugar peas, carrots and sliced radishes.





6. Allergens and Sensitivities


If you are going to be hosting, make sure to check on food allergies and sensitivities. Nuts and seeds are a great filler food for Charcuterie boards and help fill spaces between meats, cheeses and veggies. If someone has a peanut or nut allergy, it is best to skip them and add extra ingredients guests will enjoy eating. Some people have sensitivities to gluten, dairy and even nitrates. There are so many vegan and dairy-free options available now at the grocery store, and choosing these alternative options or leaving them off will make guests feel comfortable and relaxed.


7. Dips, Sauces and Jams


Okay, there are quite a few sauces I wouldn't include on a Charcuterie board. Leave off the ketchup, mayo, BBQ sauce, teriyaki and soy sauce. These are just a few…now that we have gotten these out of the way, here are sauces and spreads that go great with cheese, crackers, veggies and cured meats: honey, jams, chutney, Tapenade and fancy Dijon mustard. Hummus is a common Grazing table spread but is not commonly found on Charcuterie boards.



8. Boring and Bland Foods


Pass on being bland and boring. Charcuterie boards are meant to be extravagant, fun and exciting. They're great for entertaining and offering many different foods to ensure something for everyone. When choosing your meats, cheeses, fruits and veggies, make sure to buy three to four several different kinds and flavors. I also LOVE to include pickles, olives, dried fruit, cookies and chocolates.






*BONUS* - Boards and Platters


Now that we've discussed what NOT to include on your Charcuterie board, we need to talk about what you ARE going to serve all the approved ingredients on. Having a board designated for charcuterie is a must. Avoid using cutting boards that are also used for meal prep because these can have lingering smells and knife marks. Charcuterie Boards come in a range of sizes and shapes. Choosing a board depends on size and preference. I have a BUNCH of suggestions on my Valentine's Gift Guide Blog for Charcuterie Boards. Check it out.





Want to build a traditional Charcuterie board all on your own without making any mistakes? Check out MY RECIPES so you can order the exact ingredients I use through Instacart. This is the easiest way to give instructions so that your board looks professional. And stay up to date on all the latest by signing up for my email list.


CIAO BOARD LOVERS!!


Lea



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Guest
Apr 04

I was looking for ideas and most were helpful BUT it was stated not to use fruit that browns or crackers those are in the beautiful pictures displayed?!

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Guest
Jan 06

This was the most useful information I have found for creating boards. After looking at so many of the same old ideas, it’s a gold mine of advice. Thank you.

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Guest
Jan 21
Replying to

Wow thanks I am so happy to hear that!

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Guest
Dec 17, 2023

What an absolutely horrible clickbait article

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Guest
Jan 21
Replying to

Ill pray for you

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