Whether you plan on hosting this year’s Oscars or Super Bowl party, neither is complete without a well-thought-out charcuterie board.

The word “charcuterie” refers to cold-cooked, cured, or smoked meats, so in the most “official” sense, a traditional charcuterie board is just a meat platter.

As entertaining at home has become more popular these aesthetic boards are essentially the centerpiece of every party. The expansion of charcuterie now includes abundant displays of meats, cheeses, dried and fresh fruits, toasted bread, and complimentary condiments, the options are endless. Perfecting your charcuterie board comes with time and some simple steps to make the process effortless. Here is a guide to a few of the best meats and cheeses to use and how to assemble your board!

Best Meats to Use:

Salami: Salami is possibly the most common and versatile. The aged sausage is made from ground meat and seasoned with a variety of spices, your guests are sure to love it. Smaller salami is best served in thinner slices, making it an easy finger food.

Dry-Cured Pork: Thin-sliced, salty, dry-cured port is a must. These include Serrano ham, prosciutto, country ham, Iberico ham, and capicola. You can get it prepackaged or sliced fresh from your local deli.

Best Cheeses to Use:

Soft Cheeses: Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, burrata, or fresh ricotta. These spreadable cheeses lend tons of flavor and buttery texture perfect for your small add-ins of a fresh baguette.

Firm: Cheddar, Gouda, and Gruyere are all cheeses that can hold their own flavor and pair perfectly with a cracker or the fresh salami you sliced previously.

The cheese options are endless, there are also semi-soft and hard cheeses that would add more to your charcuterie board, but saving room for other goodies is key to pleasing all your guests.

Now for the most important part, assembling your board. The process of perfection comes with time, but the basics are what can help you get there.

How to Assemble the Perfect Charcuterie Board:

You need a large slab of something sturdy, we used our beautifully designed Milford board with inlets for each little masterpiece. Wood, marble, or ceramic boards are the perfect option, but make sure whatever you choose is food-safe. Utensils are also a must, whether it’s your grandmother’s antiques or some small toothpicks, either is totally acceptable for your board.

  • Start with your meats: Dividing your board into quadrants based on your meats will help determine how to lay the rest of the pairings out. While you lay your meats out, be creative! Try creating a rose with the Salami or little swirls of cured ham, this will add texture and personality to your board.
  • Next comes the cheese: Pairing your cheeses with the meats you have already placed is the best route to take. This gives your guest a better idea of what cheeses taste best with specific meats.
  • Finally, add your extras: In the pockets that are empty, add your dried or fresh fruits, baguettes, or even fresh jams from your local farmer’s market. No space should be left on your board, except of course on our board the Milford logo, located in the center.

Perfecting your own charcuterie board takes time and practice, but be sure to stand out among all of the other Oscar and Super Bowl parties this year with a beautifully crafted and well-thought board.