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 Easy entertaining
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Story by Sandi hauStein
If you enjoy entertaining, you've probably noticed that charcuterie boards are everywhere these days. You've seen them in
magazines, on Instagram and at your best friend's last party. And it's easy to see why: Charcuterie boards are a win for everyone involved.
With all store-bought ingredients, they're a quick and stress-free way for hosts to entertain. And guests love them, too. Everyone enjoys picking and choosing what they want on a charcuterie board – plus they're pretty and fun!
But what is charcuterie, exactly? Charcuterie is the French word for "cured meats." Originally, a charcuterie board just contained two to three meats, a couple of cheeses, and a few cornichon pickles. But today's charcuterie has taken
on a life of its own – combining fruits, vegetables, breads, spreads, olives and just about anything you can imagine.
Here’s what you need:
If you're going to serve charcuterie at your next get- together, there are a few things you're going to need.
A board. To serve charcuterie, you need something to arrange it on. Consider using a beautiful wood or slate charcuterie board or a marble slab, or you can opt for any attractive platter or tray. Or, even simpler, just use a baking sheet, a pizza pan, or even the counter or table (just cover it first with butcher paper or parchment paper).
2-3 meats. You should definitely include some robust salami, and then choose a couple of other softer, salt-cured meats like ham, pepperoni or copocollo. You may also want to add in a rich and smooth pâté and/or terrine for spreading on some crusty bread.
2-3 cheeses. Choose a good variety of cheeses. Include one or two cheeses from each category: soft cheese (such as
Brie, Blue, Feta, Fresh Mozzarella, Camembert); semi/ soft and medium cheeses (such as Gouda, Gruyere, Havarti, Munster, Port Salut); semi/hard and hard cheeses (such as Cheddar, Parmesan, Colby, Pecorino Romano, Monterey Jack); and something unique (such as Roquefort or a flavored goat cheese).
1-2 spreads or jams. Dijon mustard and fig jam are a couple of traditional choices for a charcuterie board, but you can choose any kind of spread or jam. Use your imagination and think about what would taste good with the cheeses you've selected.
1 ingredient with a brine. It's good to include an acid ingredient on your board because it helps break up the heaviness of the meat and cheese. Pick out your favorite olives, pickles or pickled vegetables to include.
Crackers and breads. Try to incorporate at least two different types of crackers or breads. Some ideas are thinly sliced baquettes, water crackers, pita chips, crostini or crispy breadsticks.
1-2 extras. If you have a few empty spaces on
your board, you can fill them with some "extras" like grapes, apple slices, dried fruits, assorted berries, nuts

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