How to build a great meat and cheese board
An epic meat and cheese board starts with the cheese, naturally. For a well-rounded selection, you'll want a range of tastes and textures, from hard to soft and from creamy to crumbly. (Be sure to let the cheese come to room temperature before serving, and slice the harder cheeses ahead of time to make it easier for guests to grab a bite.) Some of our favorites include:
When choosing meats, you'll want a couple of selections from each style of preparation.
- Whole-muscle cuts – these are meats preserved whole and usually sliced paper-thin, such as prosciutto, speck, and Jamón Iberico.
- Cured sausages – these hard sausages are a heartier selection that contrasts nicely with the thinly sliced cuts. Try Spanish chorizo, salami or a spicy soppressata.
- Patés or terrines – these soft meat spreads add textural variety. Think chicken liver pate, duck liver moose or salmon rillettes.
You'll need breads for your meat and cheese board that provide surfaces and texture. Baguette slices, toasted crostini, and a selection of crackers are all great ideas.
Then there are all the extras: sliced apples, dried figs, fresh grapes, fig jam, red pepper jelly, honey, and chocolate pieces provide sweetness. Roasted red peppers, olives, artichokes, and pickles add salt and brine. And pistachios, cashews, Marcona almonds, and candied hazelnuts provide some crunch.