For centuries, charcuterie boards, edible works of art piled high with cured meats, cheese, crackers, fruit, nuts, dips, and more, were reserved for swanky shindigs. Today, social media makes creating artistic food boards accessible to us all. Putting together a show-stopping charcuterie board worthy of a viral internet moment is simple with tips from Magnolia Milk Maids, a thriving small business in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
“You need at least five elements,” says Lauren DeRossette. “Starting with cheese! Use at least three kinds of cheese, one being a domestic cheese that everyone eats, like cheddar or Monterey. Add a savory element with salami, pepperoni, olives, and nuts. Walnuts pair well with various kinds of cheese. Artisan chocolates, fresh local honey, or seasonal fruits add a sweet touch. Spicy cheese, or spicy soppressata, to your favorite pepper jelly adds a wow factor. An artisan bread or cracker gives something to scoop all of it up with!”
Additional tips for further inspiration. “Don’t overthink it. I recommend a combination of well-known and specialty meats and cheeses. Pair Pepper Jack with a BellaVitano Merlot soaked or Aged Cheddar. Boar’s Head Pit Craft Turkey compliments Pepperoni and Salami, and it is a meat option most enjoy,” said Leigh Bryan. “Fresh fruits and vegetables add color and crunch while citruses act as a palate cleanser, so include lemon wedges or orange slices. Dips, hummus, and spreads like pimento cheese are always crowd-pleasers.”
A charcuterie board not only answers the question, “What can I bring?” this holiday season, but it’s also an opportunity to sneak in some nutrition too. Combining cheese with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can give you key nutrients like protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and fiber–now that’s something to celebrate!
Using print, TV, and the radio, Rebecca Turner translates the complex world of nutrition into understandable, and achievable concepts. Purchase her books Mind Over Fork and Enjoy Good Health on Amazon. On weekdays, she hosts Good Things with Rebecca Turner on SuperTalk Mississippi. Connect with her online at RebeccaTurnerNutrition.com.