Charcuterie Tray

Cheese charms the charcuterie tray

When you want to charm the tastebuds off your guests with a charcuterie tray, pay special attention to the cheese. As people leave the party, they're more likely to remember the aged cheddar than that chunk of chorizo. A creamy burst of burrata will impress more than the bresaola. And they'll crave the sharp bite of gorgonzola far more than any slice of soppressata.

When building a charcuterie cheese board in Wisconsin, it's easy to highlight the cheese because the cheese here is so freaking good. And it's plentiful, too. You could fill your charcuterie tray with 600 styles, flavors, and varieties of Wisconsin cheese and still have cheese to spare. But of course, it only takes a few Wisconsin cheeses to astonish your guests, because every cheese from Wisconsin is truly a charmer.

Cruise through our website to discover some new cheeses to add to your charcuterie board shopping list. Search our recipes to find ideas for a great wine and cheese board. Or read on for tips on building an awesome charcuterie tray.

A charcuterie tray that's dressed to impress

Here are some of our favorite tips for building an unforgettable charcuterie tray.

  1. Plan your portions. 2 ounces of meat and 2 ounces of cheese per person is a good rule of thumb if the charcuterie tray is an appetizer, or 5 ounces of each if the board is meant to be the main culinary event.
  2. Choose the surface first. Marble slabs or cutting boards are a beautiful choice. With a slate or chalk board, you can identify the cheese and charcuterie meat with chalk labels. And wooden cutting boards are always a handy option.
  3. Think vertical. Give your charcuterie tray some shape by placing something tall in the middle – a goblet full of grapes or a glass with breadsticks – and arranging other items around it.
  4. Let the cheese go first. Start building your tray by placing the cheese first. That will give it time to come to room temperature before serving which will enhance the taste. Place 4 to 6 varieties around the board, each with its own knife. The best cheese for charcuterie typically includes both hard and soft cheeses as well as a blue cheese and an aged cheese. Slice the hard cheeses ahead of time to make it easier for guests to fill their plates.
  5. Pile the protein. Next, add the meats. Mix whole muscle cuts like prosciutto, cured sausages like soppressata, and forcemeats like pate. Play with shapes, placing the meat in bunches, roles, or slices.
  6. Fill in the nooks. In between the meat and cheese, add bread and hearty crackers, olives, pickles, dried fruits, nuts, roasted vegetables, and small bowls of dips, jams, honey, and mustards.

Videos: Discover Your Next Favorite Cheese

FAQs: What is a charcuterie tray?

What is a charcuterie tray?

Charcuterie is a spread of prepared meats like prosciutto, salami, and pate. A charcuterie tray often also includes cheese as well as nuts, fruit, dips, mustard, olives, pickles, and bread.

What cheeses go well on a charcuterie tray?

When choosing cheese for a charcuterie board, focus a variety of tastes and textures. Include a hard cheese like aged cheddar or parmesan along with a soft and creamy cheese like burrata or brie. Then add a crumbly goat or feta cheese and a smoked gouda or provolone. And a gorgonzola or blue cheese is a great way to round out a charcuterie tray.

What's the best surface for a charcuterie tray?

A large wooden platter or cutting board, a chalkboard, or a piece of slate all make great surfaces for a charcuterie tray.

Why every charcuterie tray dreams of Wisconsin

Every charcuterie tray wants to be the center of attention. The life of the party. The thing guests remember long after the evening is over. Which is why every charcuterie tray wants to be paired with Wisconsin cheese.

Without cheese, a charcuterie tray is just a plate of warm protein. It lacks the creamy goodness of goat cheese, the salty tang of gruyere, or the crystalline crunch of aged parmesan. And with Wisconsin cheese, charcuterie knows it's getting paired with the tastiest, highest quality, most award-winning cheese on the planet. And that's enough to make any charcuterie tray a star.

So next time you're building a charcuterie tray, be sure to buy cheese with the Proudly Wisconsin Cheese badge on the label and help your charcuterie tray reach its dreams.

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?

Back to Categories

Wisconsin Cheese Feed

Check out the world’s largest cheese platform.

Join our
ever-expanding Cheese Feeds:

View our Current Issue

View Now