Charcuterie Board

What's a charcuterie board need? Cheese, please

A charcuterie board without cheese is like, well, PB without J. Or BL without T. Sure, a charcuterie platter with cured meats alone is tasty. But until you pair it with smoked gouda or aged cheddar; charcuterie is just rolled up protein waiting for something bigger and better to take it to greater flavor heights. Cheese gives charcuterie a lift. Cheese helps a charcuterie board become the best version of itself.

Here in Wisconsin, we like to build a charcuterie board with five or six artisan cheeses by some of our world-class, Master Cheesemakers. Because charcuterie with Wisconsin cheese? Well, that's when you know your charcuterie has really fulfilled its purpose in life.

Take a spin through our website to find cheese charcuterie recipes, or scroll down for tips on building your own charcuterie board.

Six charcuterie board tips

Here are a few suggestions for building a fabulous charcuterie board for any occasion.

  1. Serving size. When buying meat and cheese, choosing two ounces of meat and two ounces of cheese per person is a good rule of thumb if your charcuterie board is an appetizer. If your meat and cheese board is meant to be the entire meal, five ounces of each is appropriate.
  2. Variety. The key to a beautiful and tasty charcuterie board is having a variety of color, texture, tastes, and flavor combinations. That means you want a range of cheeses from soft to semi-firm to hard as well as blue and smoky cheese. For meats you'll want thinly sliced whole-muscle cuts as well as chunks of cured sausage and smooth pates well.
  3. Go sweet and savory. Many home chefs make the mistake of only thinking savory when it comes to their charcuterie board. Adding the sweetness of honey, fig jam, fruit preserves, grapes, or dried apricot will provide more sensational flavor combinations.
  4. Add height. Place a pile of cheese, a mound of grapes, or a jar of breadsticks at the center of your charcuterie board to add height and prevent the board from looking flat.
  5. Pre-slice. Slice the harder meats and cheeses just before serving to make it easier for guests to grab and enjoy the food.
  6. Let guests know what they're eating. Label your cheeses, meats, and spreads so guests have a better idea of how to combine tastes.

Videos: Discover Your Next Favorite Cheese

FAQs: What is a charcuterie board?

What is a charcuterie board?

A charcuterie board is a platter or serving of cured meats that is typically accompanied by a selection of cheeses, jams and spreads, nuts and mustards, fresh and dried fruits, pickled and roasted vegetables, and bread or crackers.

How far in advance should I build a charcuterie board?

If your charcuterie board is small enough to fit in a refrigerator, you can build it several hours ahead, wrap it in cellophane and refrigerate it. Be sure to take it out 30 minutes before serving to allow the cheese to come to room temperature. For larger boards or for boards that are delicately arranged and may not survive a trip to the fridge and back, you can start to build your charcuterie board 30 minutes before the party begins.

Wisconsin Cheese gives your charcuterie board a boost

Every charcuterie board has its fingers crossed that Wisconsin Cheese will be in the mix. That's because, how do we say this, Wisconsin makes the tastiest, most award-winning, highest-quality cheese on the planet, and we've got 5,552 awards (more than any other state or country in the world) to prove it. Our cheesemakers have been mastering traditions and creating their own innovations for 175 years, since even before Wisconsin was a state. Today, we produce more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world.

So, when you feel your charcuterie board is longing to be adorned with the finest cheese you can lay your hands on, go ahead and give it Wisconsin cheese.

Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?

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