French charcuterie boards: honour holiday traditions with this fan favourite
Now that Christmas is over and the platters monopolizing your counter have been haphazardly shoved back into their holiday boxes, you’d think you’d finally get a break. Then the “We should get together soon!” texts start flooding in and you realize that the me-time you had planned has now been double-booked with socializing. The celebrations continue – which is great! – but spending another full day prepping food for visitors? The mere thought of it is just… too soon.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is seven days of holiday purgatory where we don’t even know what day it is anymore. Making plans could sometimes add to the confusion. Enter: French charcuterie boards.
Not only are charcuterie boards visually appealing and relatively easy to put together, they also pair beautifully with all types of wines, breads and cheeses. Also, cleanup becomes a no-brainer. All in all, it’s a quick win.
Plan the meats for your French charcuterie board
Our friends at European Charcuteries swear that the secret to making the perfect board lies in five must-serve charcuteries: dry-cured ham, dry sausage, terrine, pâté and white ham. You’ll taste the saltiness in the dry-cured ham and dry sausage, enjoy the textures of the terrine and pâté, and please every palate with the slices of white ham.
Pro tip: intersperse the different cuts of meat by colour, taste and texture to showcase the true diversity of the board.
Add a variety of cheeses and breads to build the perfect spread
When it comes to cheese selection, texture is key. Consider offering two or three options that would fall into the categories of hard, soft, blue or goat cheeses. An easy, winning combination may look something like slices of Gruyere, a wheel of brie and maybe a spreadable, flavoured goat cheese. Finally, the only thing better than cheese alone is bread and cheese together: a crusty, artisanal baguette would provide a satisfying chew.
Complement your carefully crafted board with a light red or a crisp white wine
You may have thought that between flavoured meats, yummy cheeses and warm bread, life couldn’t get much better. But we’re about to add a crucial component to our trip to Flavour town: wine. Choose a light-bodied red wine, like Beaujolais, for the heavier spiced meats on the board. Then, for the saltier and fattier cuts, a crispy, acidic white will do the trick, like Pinot Grigio or Riesling. We’d even be so bold as to consider something a bit more haut de gamme, like a Prosecco or Champagne.
Salt, fat, spice and everything nice: no wonder this tradition has been around for centuries. French charcuterie boards are the perfect hosting hack to get you out of the kitchen and chilling with your guests instead. Be the hostess with the leastest dishes to do with this beautifully simple – but meticulously crafted – offering that’s sure to please visitors, come one, come all.