I love a good charcuterie board. Not only are they incredibly beautiful, they’re literally filled to the brim with deliciousness!
This was the first proper charcuterie board I’ve ever made. (I don’t think cheese, crackers and grapes strewn about on small cutting board really counts). I drew inspiration from this post but I made a smaller spread and switched up some of the ingredients. I thought it would be fun to share what I learned as well as some tips!
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First off, if you’re not familiar with what a charcuterie board is, it’s essentially a cheese plate or cheese board. However, I recently learned that to be a “proper” charcuterie board, it must include cured or aged meat.
I decided right off the bat that I wanted to make my board using all Trader Joe’s products. Trader Joe’s is pretty much a charcuterie board-building mecca with their solid cheese, cracker, nuts and dried fruit sections – all at reasonable prices, too. It’s most definitely a one-stop shop for all of your charcuterie board construction needs!
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A charcuterie board typically consists of the following:
- Crunch (crackers, nuts)
- Dips, Spreads
- Fresh herbs
Here’s the list of all of the Trader Joe’s products I used to build my board:
- Dutch Gouda Cheese
- Double Crème Brie with Truffles
- Manchego Cheese
- Cranberry Chevre
- Unexpected Cheddar Cheese
- Raisin Rosemary Crisps
- Fig & Olive Crisps
- Original Savory Thin Crackers
- Organic Garlic Naan Crackers
- Italian Breadsticks with Olive Oil
- Red grapes
- Green grapes
- Fuji apple
- Rosemary (for garnish)
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- Honey with Honeycomb
- Fig Butter
- Seville Orange Marmalade
- Marinated Olive Duo
- Gourmet Deli Selection
- Organic Turkish Dried Figs
- Dark Sweet Cherries
- Sweetened Dried Orange Slices
- Fair Trade Organic Belgian Dark Chocolate Bar
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- Candied Pecans
- Candied Walnuts
- Truffle Marcona Almonds
Large Serving Board (similar)
Cheese knives (similar)
Ramekins (Mine were thrifted but these are similar)
Honey Dipper (similar)
WHAT I LEARNED / TIPS
- Unless you’re going to build your board right when you get home from the store, I recommend keeping all of your non-perishable items in a bag and all of your perishable items in a bag in the fridge. Or group items and take a photo of them as a reference. There are a lot of items and you don’t want to forget anything when it comes time to build your board.
- Make sure to wash and dry your board, as well as any produce.
- In regards to the order I built my board: I laid the cheese and meat out first. Then I added the “contained” items (spreads, olives and pickles). Then I added crackers and nuts. I put the apple and pear slices on last because I didn’t want them to start getting brown. I added more nuts to any sparse areas at the end and added rosemary as the finishing touch.
- Tips for an “aesthetic” looking board: cut items (cheese, fruit) for varying dimension, vary item positioning based on color (mix light and dark items), stack items both vertically and horizontally, garnish (sage, rosemary, etc.) make a huge difference.
- Interestingly, even though I was working with food, it felt like I was constructing an art project. Also, I can see how building a board could be relaxing for some…or frustrating for others (perfectionists)!