Here's how to make the perfect charcuterie board this festive season

By Nigel Booth
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 8:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 8:01 am
Festive party season is the perfect time to create a charcuterie board
Festive party season is the perfect time to create a charcuterie board

Top charcuterie tips

With the festive party season just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to create a charcuterie board.

Accompany your favourite cheeses with sweet or savoury treats to maximise flavour and aesthetic.

Over the past 12 months, search terms for ‘charcuterie board ideas’ have seen an increase of 222 per cent and with the festive season just around the corner, what better way is there to impress your guests than with a mouth-watering food board?

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    Experts at VonHaus have shared their tips on how to make the perfect charcuterie board, complete with which chutneys, wines and accompaniments.

    Rustle up a tasty charcuiterie board

    What you need for a charcuterie board

    1 - A serving board, tray or slates

    2 - Plenty of knives for cutting the cheeses

    3 - Small serving or dipping bowls for chutneys and jams

    4 - Small plates for guests to use

    5 - How to make a charcuterie board

    Building your board is fun and there is no wrong way to display your food art.

    Try top tips for making the perfect charcuterie board

    For a fun festive activity, include the entire family when creating your board to make sure everyone’s favourite cheeses and snacks are featured. Here are VonHaus’ top tips for making the perfect board:

    Cheese – Start with the cheeses as the foundation of your board, laying them out alongside knives for slicing or spreading.

    Chutneys – For your jams, chutneys and tapenades, place the jars or little bowls close to the cheese they best pair with. For honey, place it in one corner with a serving spoon to help prevent it from getting drizzled across everything.

    Meats – Meats should be easily folded and arranged to save space. Try folding your meats into triangles or get creative making flowers and roses for cute features.

    Olives – Place all the olives into a bowl with toothpicks for easy serving and snacking.

    Accompaniments – For bread and crackers, create little rivers or paths across the board to separate different

    cheeses and sections. Then use anything else like nuts, fruit and veg to fill gaps and add colour and decoration.

    Wine – Let your guests serve their own wine, but you could make little labels to suggest pairings. You can also make an array of mocktails which align with the palette of your cheeses.

    What to pair with soft cheeses:

    Brie

    Brie is a firm favourite and it’s easy to understand why. The creamy cheese is best paired with sweeter flavours such as jam or honey. Spread this cheese and other softer cheeses onto a thick, crusty bread for the best bite.

    Chutneys – Cranberry jam, honey, fig

    Accompaniments – Candied nuts, fresh fruit like apples or figs

    Wine – Chardonnay, or a crisp fruity white wine

    Camembert

    Like brie, this soft cheese is perfectly matched with sweeter flavours. The taste of camembert is enhanced when baked and adds variation in temperature and texture.

    Score the top of your cheese, add garlic, rosemary and honey and bake for 10-20 minutes. Dip your favourite crusty bread into this oozingly delicious savoury treat.

    Chutneys – Honey, sweet and slightly spiced fruit jams

    Accompaniments – Crusty bread, crunch fruit and veg, fresh rosemary

    Wine – Chardonnay or a rich apple cider if wine isn’t your thing

    Mozzarella & Burrata

    Although cheese can be quite a dense food, mozzarella and burrata are fresh and light. Best paired with savoury accompaniments including chilli, meats and olive oil – mozzarella is best eaten as a small snack which you can quickly marinate for even quicker flavour.

    With burrata, you can’t go wrong with adding rocket, or for those looking to expand their palette, pair this cheese with melon or prosciutto.

    Chutneys – A savoury oil like basil or chilli

    Accompaniments – Meats, olives

    Wine – Sauvignon Blanc or a citrusy white wine

    What to pair with hard cheeses:

    Sharp cheddar

    Cheddar is the most versatile cheese and can be matched with both sweet and savoury pairings. For those with a sweet tooth, accompany this cheese with fresh apple, fruit jams or honey.

    For those with a savoury palate cured meats or olives will amplify the flavour.

    Chutneys – Caramelized onion chutney, honey

    Accompaniments – Cured meats, olives, dried apricots, grapes, fresh apple

    Wine – Malbec or a rich chocolatey red wine to subdue the sharp taste

    Parmesan or pecorino romano

    These two salty cheeses make for easy pairing. Slice these cheeses thinly across a cracker. Both can be perfectly matched with olives, salami or pickles.

    Chutneys – Pickles

    Accompaniments – Cured meats, olives, cornichons

    Wine – Anything from a pinot noir to a bubbly prosecco – strong cheeses deserve a strong drink.

    Manchego

    This Spanish cheese is beautifully nutty and therefore pairs up perfectly with savoury, rich and oily accompaniments. Add roasted peppers, tapenades and salty olives for your guests who love savoury flavours.

    Chutneys – Olive, tomato tapenades, chutneys

    Accompaniments – Roasted peppers, olives, prawns, sundried tomatoes

    Wine – Pinot noir or a malty beer like a brown ale

    What to pair with blue cheese:

    Blue cheese is full of flavour and adds contrast and texture to your board. Paired with the perfect wine and sides, this can become an instant favourite.

    Black olives, honey and cured meats are one way you can match the strong flavour of the cheese.

    On the other hand, you can pair blue cheese with cucumbers, apples, or grapes. Both approaches can be placed on top of a whole grain cracker or crusty bread.

    Chutneys – Honey, fig jam, tapenades

    Accompaniments – Cucumber, apricots, apples, olives, almonds, pecans

    Wine – Any red wine or a sparkling prosecco or champagne for a fresher option.

    How to make the perfect charcuterie board, complete with which chutneys, wines and accompaniments