Charcuterie. Charcuterie. Charcuterie. Okay, big word that’s fun to say! You can definitely impress your friends and fam when you tell them you’re bringing a Cheese and Charcuterie Board to the party.
Need to figure out what it means before you volunteer to bring it? Basically, “charcuterie” is a selection of cured meats. There you have it! Put it together with CHEESE, and you’ve got the best-EVER, simply perfect, sing-Hallelujah-spread-of-foods that I could basically live on forever.
We have some very good friends that we travel a lot with, who are self-proclaimed foodies like us. Years ago, they coined a phrase that I love: “Food Moment.” These are moments that don’t come along very often, when you find a perfect food in a perfect setting, and you just know after the first bite that you’ve stumbled on a taste that you’ll remember forever.
We had one of these moments with them a few years ago. We had the privilege of traveling to Italy, and happened to find a small street market in Parma, where we bought wedges of true Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, thin-shaved, cured prosciutto, sweet, enormous grapes, delicate, tiny green and black olives and crusty Italian bread. Oh my goodness! Does it get any better than that?
Actually, it did. We left the market with our bags full of food and our mouths watering.
Just out of town, we pulled onto a windy country road and drove to the top of a hill, where we discovered…a CASTLE! Yep, just sitting there all by itself, in the middle of nowhere, with nobody around but us. Of course we had to eat our divine lunch right there. Italian cheese, meat and bread, castle wall, sweeping view of the Italian countryside…FOOD MOMENT right there! I will never forget that simple meal.
Create your own “food moment” with a simple, no-cook, beautifully impressive cheese and charcuterie board. (And say “Charcuterie” a lot! It’ll make you smile 😉 )
- Prosciutto, salami, soppressata, other cured meats
- Variety of favorite cheese: hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano, soft cheese like Brie or herbed goat, veined bleu, etc.
- Crusty italian bread
- Dried and fresh fruit: grapes, apples and pears, figs, apricots, berries, pomegranates
- Veggies: fresh olives, roasted peppers, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes, cornichons
- Dips and sauces: fig jam, pepper jelly, mustard, honey, balsamic reduction, flavored oils
- Nuts: pistachios, marcona almonds, pine nuts, cashews
- This is a super fun platter to put together! Basically, gather all your favorites from the list of ingredients, and arrange on platters. It looks best if things are layered, tucked in close together, hanging off the platter. Make it a work of art!
**Put this together at least an hour before you will eat it. The cheeses should be soft and at room temperature.