The Ham You Should Be Using To Spice Up Your Charcuterie Board

We might not speak for everyone, but we can confidently say that a charcuterie board is one of the best appetizers out there. It's perfect for a book club, wine night, pre-dinner snack, movie night — pretty much any occasion can be a charcuterie board occasion. Whether you want to keep it basic with a few kinds of cheese and meats or go all out and create one of those decadent boards bursting with colors and flavors, you can customize them however you want. 

There are loads of ways to mix up your board. Adding spiced nuts or even some chocolate is an easy option, while tossing in different fruits or vegetables is a great idea to keep things on the lighter side. And if you really want to impress your guests, you can add a few unique meats or cheese options that'll have them really wowed. Just don't break the cardinal rules of building a charcuterie board: vary your textures, make sure you have more than just two kinds of cheese, add something fresh to the board, remember the wine pairing, and get some quality bread.

Jambon de Bayonne will take your charcuterie board up a notch

Now, we've all had a charcuterie board with delicate strips of salty, delicious prosciutto laid out for consumption. It makes for a delicious addition to any toast point with cheese, and its mild salty flavor goes wonderfully with fruit (has anyone else ever had prosciutto and melon? It's amazing). But this ham is even better.

According to Food52, "Jambon de Bayonne is a cured ham crafted in the Adour Bassin in the Pyrenees," and it gets its name from the French city of Bayonne. It's similar to Spain's Jamon Iberico and Italy's prosciutto, but this meat has a celebrated history and decadent flavor profile. Per Food52, it comes from pigs "born and bred in the Adour Bassin. Fed on corn, the meat from these special animals is sweet, with an almost nutty fattiness." The meat is cured using salt from a saline spring in Salies-de-Béarn before being aged for nine months. The finished result is a meat with a delicate sweetness, delightful savory umami flavor, and melt-in-your-mouth consistency that leaves behind a faint trace of hazelnuts. Goodbye prosciutto, hello Jambon de Bayonne. Next time you're making a board, this addition will class it up a whole bunch.