Dishing Up: Six Charcuterie Board Ideas

charcuterie board bread cheese cured meats rose wine
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Since eating in became our only option, food lovers have taken the time to find new and exciting ways to present meals to their households. Traditionally, charcuterie boards are made up of bread, cheese, cured meat and plenty of complementing wine, however after a year of in-house dining there’s been some big changes.

Completely customisable and brimming with possibilities, it’s a wonder we haven’t been creating them all along for every occasion. The perfect serving solution for when you want to make something out of everyday meals, charcuterie boards can be used any time of day for any meal and Pinterest recently reported that charcuterie with sweets, breakfast spreads and even tacos are going to be big this year. The best thing? All you need is a big board or two, ingredients you've already got in the cupboard and a little imagination to get started.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at these neatly-arranged boards that are so much more than cheese and crackers…

breakfast charcuterie board pancakes fruit bacon
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Breakfast

The most important meal of the day. And a fun way to get your household around the table to start their day off a little different. Taking Instagram by storm, this delectable mix of pancakes, fresh fruit, bacon and waffles is hard to resist.

Our top tip? American-style pancakes work best due to their stackability. The point of charcuterie is to graze, so making them smaller will ensure the meal isn’t too heavy. Don’t forget your toppings, slicing up fruit and adding more berries will encourage the table to get in a portion of two of their five-a-day and a bowl of syrup for drizzling.

brunch charcuterie board meat cheese avocado
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Brunch

Why not create a board in loving memory of every millennial’s favorite Sunday past-time, brunch? The perfect way to spend some time with your household, a lazy afternoon at-home brunch is a varied and fun way to get everyone around the table.

Start your board off with warm bread, pastries and cakes, they make the perfect base for slathering on jams and spreads. From here you can get creative with your favorite fruits to add some zest, slicing up avocado and sourdough or even adding cured meat for a traditional charcuterie edge. Don’t forget mimosas for a true brunch experience.

fruit charcuterie board
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Fruit

Getting your five-a-day? Not a problem with a fruity charcuterie board. Perfect for encouraging little ones to pick up and try new fruit, a rainbow mix of different types of citrus, melon, berries and pomes is bound to prove popular with the whole family.

Start off by arranging your fruit into different sections and split by color, it’ll make an eye-catching display that even the pickiest of eaters won’t be able to refuse. The burst of color will help encourage little ones to pick up fruits they’ve never tried before, you could even turn it into a fun activity for everyone to try each color. For extra points, add smaller bowls of honey, yogurt or even chocolate if you’re feeling indulgent.

dessert charcuterie waffles cakes doughnuts
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Dessert

The best part of any meal? It’s certainly debatable. Perfect for the household sweet tooths, a hodgepodge of different dessert treats will look almost too good to eat. Almost. Dessert charcuterie boards are perfect for an afternoon tea or special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries as well as sweetening up the mid-week slump.

Arrange cupcakes, doughnuts, sweet pies, pastries and anything else you can think of into neat piles across your boards and trays. The sweeter, the better. The perfect solution for when you can’t choose just the one dessert. Where’s the fun with just one anyway?

candy charcuterie board
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Candy

One for the sweetest in the family. A candy charcuterie board is bound to be a big hit with the little ones. It’s also perfect for an at-home celebration, whether that’s a birthday, school success or just for grazing in front of the TV over the weekend.

Fill bowls or glass jars with your sweet-shop favorites, such as red strawberry laces, chocolate covered pretzels, pastel sherbets or rainbow lollipops. The bolder and brighter the better. Whether you arrange by color or candy type, it’s bound to look like the sweetest thing.

traditional charcuterie board
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Traditional

When all else fails, don’t think you can’t go traditional. There are absolutely no rules when it comes to building these, but tradition calls for cured meats, tangy pickles, sweet jams, fruit, cheese (how pungent you go is up to you) and complementing tipple.

A real choose-your-own-adventure culinary story, the best thing about charcuterie is the versatility, however there is a handy formula you can use:

Pre-Sliced
Thin cured meats such as prosciutto or Serrano ham that bring savory and salty flavors

Unsliced
Hard meats, think salami or smoked sausage or hard cheese cheese that you’ll slice to add texture and chewability

Spreadable
Think meat pâté, terrine (or vegetarian alternatives) or creamy spreadable cheese to add richness

Accents
Extras to add variety and encourage diners to mix and match flavors such as pickles, olives, spreads and crackers

Beverages
Tipple to complement your board, whether that’s beer or wine from the same region as your other ingredients or non-alcoholic beverages