The Charcuterie Board Meat Checklist You Should Know About

If we're being honest, we feel like every season is charcuterie season, but the fall and winter months are exceptionally busy with entertaining, parties, and all sorts of guests. All of that makes them especially great times of year for throwing together a stunning charcuterie to serve to your guests, or to bring to a party. Nobody is ever disappointed to see a charcuterie board (except maybe the guy that brought the plain cheese and crackers and feels upstaged), and they're super easy to create without spending a ton of time preparing or cooking.

Half the fun of a board is assembling your own little plate filled with whatever fruits, meats, cheeses, crackers, and spreads you want, so the creator doesn't have to do much more than choose the ingredients and lay them out in a visually appealing way. Before you go to create your next charcuterie board, though, you should have a good idea of what components make for an exceptional board, rather than a plain-Jane example.

Having a variety of meats is essential, but the texture is the most important thing

You might not have considered the texture of meats before when curating a charcuterie board. It's important to have a variety of types of cheeses: soft, firm, aged, and blue, and a few different types of jams for creating all sorts of delicious combinations, but offering variety in the texture of the meats you select is important, too.

According to Home Made Simple, you'll want to make sure you have something whole, something smooth, something cured, and something dry. An example of something whole is a meat that's cured whole, like prosciutto, jamon, or Jambon de Bayonne. Something smooth means a soft and spreadable meat variety; a pate or a rillette de canard are two examples of this. Something cured means a cured meat such as chorizo, cured sausage, or salami. And finally, you'll want dry meat to add a smoky flavor to the board, like pancetta or bacon. Add once from each of these categories and you're sure to have a well-rounded charcuterie board that everyone will love.