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What you need to assemble the perfect charcuterie board

What you need to assemble the perfect charcuterie board

Brie yourself

Text: Eugene Chen

Image: Aaron Huber via Unsplashed
Image: Erik Dungan via Unsplashed
Image: Bottega MY

The best things in life are cheese and meat, which are both found on a charcuterie board. Treat yourself and your loved ones with a platter full of scrumptious goodies

Charcuterie boards are the perfect appetiser for those who want a simple yet luxurious spread. There are plenty of occasions to enjoy charcuterie boards—they're not limited to picnics at the park. They can be enjoyed during date nights, special occasions with family, dinner parties with friends, etc. Who doesn’t love a DIY food item that you can mix and match to your liking?

A charcuterie board is whatever you want it to be, with plenty of items to choose from to create the perfect bite. There’s always going to be something for everyone to enjoy. Since there isn’t any cooking involved, quality is key when it comes to assembling the perfect charcuterie board, so don’t be afraid of spending a couple of extra Ringgit. Charcuterie boards are definitely spendy, but they're worth the splurge once in a while.

The perfect charcuterie board, in my opinion, is one that has a perfect balance of sweet and savoury to give you that Ratatouille moment (When Remy bites into a piece of cheese and grape, creating a flavour explosion). It might seem like a simple assembly of random ingredients, but the flavours are far more complex than it looks. Here are the items that I think make the perfect charcuterie board. Feel free to add or exclude ingredients that you’re not a fan of.

Cheese

Cheese is a must-have on a charcuterie board. It’s good to have different cheeses with different textures (soft and hard). A great soft cheese I like to use is Brie or Camembert. For hard cheeses, you can use Manchego—a Spanish goat cheese—or Gouda, which is a Dutch cow milk cheese. If you’re bold and like funky cheeses, try a good blue cheese.

Cured meats

A charcuterie is defined as a delicatessen specialising in meat dishes, so a charcuterie board technically wouldn’t be complete without a selection of cured meats. Prosciutto is a great meat to start with. It’s a salty, thinly-sliced, cured Italian ham that melts in your mouth. Another great addition to this incredible spread would be a good salami, maybe even a slightly spicy one. Don’t forget to include a high-quality paté on the side!

Fruits

Having a variety of fruits can help add colour and flavour to your board. The best fruits to use for a charcuterie board include berries, mangoes, grapes, kiwis, and figs. You can even include dried fruit like raisins or fried cranberries if that’s your thing. After assembling your fruits and cheeses, you can finally live out the Ratatouille moment mentioned earlier.

Nuts

Nuts, much like fruits, add sweetness and crunch to your board. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios are excellent choices to pair with cheese. There are even nuts that are roasted with different ingredients, which could bring out interesting flavours.

Jam and dip

There are plenty of jams and dips to choose from, which may seem a little intimidating. These are some suggestions on what would work best with your board: Bacon jam (recipe in the video), cherry jam, marmalade, dijon mustard, and of course, honey. Try mixing and matching with different cheeses and meats to create the perfect symphony of flavours.

Pickles

Pickles might not be everyone’s favourite, but they sure do go well with a charcuterie board. It’s always good to include at least one selection. There are so many types and they’re not all just made with cucumbers: try using pickled gherkins, olives, pearl onions, or mushrooms.

Bread and crackers

Everyone loves carbs! Bread and crackers are the foundation of every tasty combination on the board. Make sure to use one that isn’t too flavourful, so it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. You can never go wrong with a fresh baguette, Ritz or water crackers.

For an easier alternative to assembling your own charcuterie board, check out our list of places that deliver the best charcuterie boards in KL.