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Charcuterie is a French culinary creation that refers to the art of preparing and presenting cured meats, such as prosciutto, salami and ham. A charcuterie board, also known as a meat board, is a platter of cured meats, cheeses, breads and accompaniments, typically served as an appetizer or snack. It can be tailored to suit any occasion and any palate, making it perfect for any gathering, whether it’s a casual get-together or a formal event.

In this article: Smirly Cheese Board and Knife Set, mDesign Slate Stone Gourmet Serving Platter and Mora Ceramic Ramekins.

Styles of charcuterie boards

The term “charcuterie board” describes both the vessel of serving and what is being served. When choosing the board, you can find them in a variety of materials, including:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Slate
  • Glass
  • Marble

Wood and slate are the most traditional materials, but glass and metal add a funky twist.

If your gathering is less formal, or plates and utensils are impractical, you might also consider disposable charcuterie cups. These are typically made from sturdy brown kraft paper, waterproofed to resist leaking and grease stains. Look for sets that include toothpicks or skewers for utensil-free snacking.

Meats for the perfect charcuterie board

When putting together a charcuterie board, it’s important to consider a variety of flavors, textures, and colors. Popular meats that can be included on a charcuterie board include:

  • Prosciutto
  • Salami
  • Pepperoni
  • Soppressata

These meats can be sliced thin or cut into bite-sized chunks.

Cheeses for the perfect charcuterie board

Choose both hard and soft cheeses that include:

  • Brie
  • Cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Manchego

Breads, crackers, and crostini are also commonly served with charcuterie boards, providing a nice contrast in texture.

Spreads, fruit and more for the perfect charcuterie board

You can then add accompaniments such as:

  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Cornichons
  • Mustards
  • Honey
  • Jam
  • Fruit (i.e., grapes, figs and dried apricots)
  • Almonds or walnuts
  • Dark chocolate

Arranging the perfect charcuterie board

Start with a large platter or cutting board. You can also use a combination of types of boards such as wood and marble for a rustic aesthetic. Arrange the meats and cheeses in an attractive manner, making sure to separate the different types of meats and cheeses so that they don’t touch.

The accompaniments can be arranged in small bowls or on small plates around the platter. Breads and crackers can be placed in a basket or woven tray.

If you or your guests have food allergies or other dietary considerations, make sure to keep those foods separated. Consider creating separate boards for vegans, vegetarians and those with gluten allergies.

Best charcuterie boards (and accessories)

best Smirly Bamboo Cheese Board and Knife Set

Smirly Bamboo Cheese Board and Knife Set

This board comes with a magnetic knife holder, food inserts to keep accompaniments contained and a fruit tray. Bamboo is durable and resists contamination from meats and cheeses.

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best mDesign Slate Stone Gourmet Serving Platter

mDesign Slate Stone Gourmet Serving Platter

You can go the minimalist route with this simple slate serving board. It’s coated to prevent stains and features padding on the bottom to prevent scratches on counters and tabletops.

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best Mora Ceramic Ramekins

Mora Ceramic Ramekins

These six 8-ounce ramekins are perfect for drippy pickles and condiments. Their neutral lead-free glaze is oven-safe and durable. They also come in 4- and 6-ounce sizes.

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best Charcuterie Board Accessories

Charcuterie Board Accessories

When you’re serving a crowd, this is the set you need. It has four butter spreaders, three cheese knives, one cheese cutter, and four each of spoons, forks and mini serving tongs. The knives and spreaders are stainless steel, and their wooden handles are durable and beautiful. This also includes toothpick label flags so guests know what they’re diving into. For best results, hand-wash each piece after use.

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best Godinger Marble and Wood Round Cheese Board

Godinger Marble and Wood Round Cheese Board

This board has a 15-inch diameter. Most of it, including the handle with a hole to hang it, is light marble. Wood on the end is easier on knives and better for cutting cheese. It’s safe for hot dishes, too, and can be used as a bar accessory.

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best Featherlee Premium Natural Live Edge Acacia Charcuterie Board

Featherlee Premium Natural Live Edge Acacia Charcuterie Board

If you prefer something one-of-a-kind and entirely original, this natural acacia wood cutting board with a live edge is for you. It’s about 18 by 8 inches and seasoned with olive oil to prevent against foodborne bacteria. It’s rustic and has a hole in the handle for easy hanging storage.

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best Mitica Marcona Almonds

Mitica Marcona Almonds

Add a luxe touch to your charcuterie board with these almonds from Spain. They are slightly sweet and lightly salted, with a buttery finish on the palate that complements a wide variety of foods.

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best Annie's Horseradish Mustard

Annie’s Horseradish Mustard

You can give your snack a hearty kick with horseradish mustard. It’s certified organic and has no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. It also comes in three other flavors: Dijon, honey and yellow mustard.

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best Sanniti Spanish Cornichons

Sanniti Spanish Cornichons

In a pickle about what accompaniments to serve? Try cornichons. These tasty Spanish pickles are crunchy, sweet and a perfect foil to hearty, salty flavors of meat. Use them chopped up as relish on sandwiches, too.

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Worth checking out

best stainless steel champagne stopper by Kolveo

best Savannah Bee Whipped Honey Gift Set

  • The Savannah Bee Whipped Honey Gift Set adds a touch of nutrient-infused pure honey that’s a perfect complement to salty, creamy brie and other cheeses. It comes in a variety of flavor combinations and would make a perfect hostess gift, too.

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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