I remember when I first started to make cheese boards. I would create them, put them on the table and then think, “Hmm…This is a little too shabby and for sure not enough chic.” I felt that when I put my cheese boards on the table, they almost added more chaos to the spread than beauty. So I started to play around with designs, ingredients, trends, and sizes, to see what it took to make boards that were not just beautiful, but welcoming, and ones that pulled everything on the table together. Here are three of my best kept charcuterie secrets on how to craft an effortlessly beautiful board:
So often, boards end up looking chaotic and messy. The reason behind this is simple, and honestly, totally valid! When we go to make charcuterie we want to add ALL the things, and who could blame us! What happens though is, just like with a palette of paint, when you mix all the colors of paint together on a dish you get a nasty brown. Can you picture it? It’s similar to that. Color balance is so important! For this board above, our Rise & Shine Brunch Board, we picked red-ish, purple-ish, and cream-ish colors as our base. From there, you will see how we planned and shopped for the ingredients. When you see them all together they are perfectly balanced, even though there are so many wonderful ingredients! No matter what your theme or flavor profile is, you can apply this and it makes the aesthetic SO much simpler.
Grocery stores make it easy to pick a few packs of crackers, slices of cheese, and call it a day. However, what happens when we only use cheese slices is that the board lacks character. I found through making boards, that if you are going to use multiple types of cheese, buy them each in a different shape. For example, you’ll notice that I most commonly use one circle, usually Brie, one triangle, usually Pecorino Romano or wine-infused cheese, and one rectangle, usually a cheddar or mild cheese. From here we cut each shape in its own unique way. It’s amazing to see how just with these three different cuts, the board has so much character! Looking to learn how to cut each cheese type? These skills are taught in all of our virtual workshops!
When creating charcuterie, think the fuller the better! At Gather we design in a mosaic style. This style is most beautiful when there is enough surface area to work with. While the charcuterie board of all of our dreams is six feet long, for everyday hospitality we have found that a 15”- ish board is perfection. Small boards have their purpose, but for a beautiful aesthetic, keep this size in mind. If you are looking for a new charcuterie board, there are so many beautiful boards on the market to add to your kitchen. New board are always arriving in our collection too at www.homebygather.com.
Above all else, design, color balance, ingredient pairing, and prep, take time to master. Enjoy the process, enjoy the company, and don’t wait for perfection to open your door! Cheers to the art and decadence of charcuterie!
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