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Charcuterie DIY

In this blog post, I’m going to go into detail as to how to have your own charcuterie board DIY, including what ingredients to use and how to put it together. When did we go from calling this appetizer “cheese and crackers” to “charcuterie board”? I don’t know when it happened, but with the much fancier name came a much more interesting appetizer board with much more than crackers and cheese! The modern charcuterie board has become an art form, and I don’t know how anything could be better than combining my love for art with my love for cheese.

So, at my recent Halloween party, I catered in sandwiches, mini quiches and stuffed mushrooms, but I was super excited to make my own charcuterie board.


Before I go too far, I have to share with you what I learned about the history of the charcuterie board. Let’s first understand where the word “charcuterie” comes from. The word is actually derived from the French and the words chair/flesh and cuit/cooked. Way back in the day, the word described French shops that sold products made from pork. Today, the charcuterie board is very popular at restaurants and are often served with wine. They usually contain cured meat, cheeses, pickles and olives, jams, fruits and nuts.

The great news is that there is no wrong way to serve a charcuterie board! You can go in multiple directions and make it a delicious combination of many tastes, colors and textures. Or you can make separate ones that stick to one type of food. For example, you could have one with just cheeses, one with just meats, one with dried fruits and nuts. My favorite way to make one is to include everything I like, using sweet, salty, savory, spicy.

I’ve seen some parties (ok, I saw this on The Real Housewives, but, that’s neither here nor there) that covered an entire table with some sort of plastic tablecloth or something and then they used the entire table as the “board” and put food all over it, just straight onto the table. I have to say that it looked amazing and probably cost a fortune!


We bought a new board for the Halloween party because I wanted it to be fairly large. Then I bought 4 different kinds of cheese – a bleu cheese, brie, a type of cheddar and a Havarti. For the cheese, instead of slicing it thinly, I cut a piece off the end that was about ½-inch thick and then I cut that into thirds and then cubes. For the bleu cheese, I just kind of crumbled it and for the brie, I cut it into small wedges.

For the cheese, it’s easiest to serve it cut into cubes instead of trying to slice it


You can use a variety of cured meats or keep it simple, the way I did. I used a hard salami and a prosciutto, but you can even include deli meats like ham or turkey and a variety of different kinds of salami.


You can choose whatever kind of nuts that you like best, but if you’ve never tried Marcona almonds, they are definitely worth a try. They are a Spanish gourmet almond that are shorter, rounder and sweeter than the California variety. They are usually toasted in olive oil and salt. I found them in a tub next to all of the cheeses at the cheese counter.

A dried fruit is always a good thing to add to your board. You can use dried apricots, dried cranberries, or whatever is your favorite. I tried dried sour cherries, and I think that’s my new favorite. Some fresh fruit is also a good addition. Sliced apples are delicious with the cheese, but even if you squeeze some lemon juice on them, they usually don’t look fresh for a long time. I use grapes (either green or purple, seedless) and berries like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.


Pickles and olives are great for the board, and there are a surprising variety to choose from. For the pickles, I used French Cornichon pickles which are really small dill, sour pickles. I like them because they’re so tiny. I just used a little bowl full of them and added it to the top of the board. I did the same thing with some olives – I put them in a little bowl and put them on the board with a tiny fork. I used bleu cheese stuffed olives and kalamata olives.


It’s nice to add a few spreads that are both sweet and savory to choose from, so that guests can make a great combination on the crackers, such as a little bit of fig jam and a piece of cheese, or a little bit of honey with cheese. Another good combination is a strong mustard with a cured meat. For spreads, here are a few suggestions: any kind of berry jam, apricot fruit spread, honey, stone ground mustard, Dijon mustard, sweet pepper jam or any of your favorite types of fruit spread. I also added some olive tapenade, which I would describe as an olive relish. It’s salty and a bit tart, usually made with roughly ground olives, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and sometimes parsley and capers. It’s delicious on a cracker alone or with some cheese or meat.


The final thing I like to add to my charcuterie board is something sweet. Some people add some chunks of dark chocolate or chocolate truffles or even chocolate covered nuts. I bought a tin of vanilla pirouettes, which are those crisp, sugary, thinly rolled cookies that are about the width of a pencil. I put a little cup next to the board and stood the pirouettes up in them.

The only thing left is to provide plenty of crackers, sliced baguettes or any “vehicle” to eat all of the delicious charcuterie board items. I also added a glass with some crisp bread sticks to munch on.

When putting your board together, I think it looks prettiest to add ingredients in little mounds on the board and then fan things like salami out in a line. For the prosciutto, I cut the thin slices in half and put each slice into a little “pile” next to each other. I also added a few flower blooms here and there on the board, for some color and to make it look pretty. I also put some little picks in a small holder next to the board so people could just stab it into whatever cheese or fruit, etc they want. Make sure you have little plates and napkins next to the board, for your guests to use.

I hope these descriptions, along with some of the photos I took of my board, will help you create your own charcuterie board. Remember, this doesn’t have to be on a board. It could be on a platter or a few platters or plates all put next to each other. I will put a link for a board similar to the one I used, below.

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are my own. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain other affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission from. Read full privacy policy here.

Charcuterie Board

There is no wrong way to make your charcuterie board, so don’t be intimidated to try your own. Add delicious foods and be as creative as you’d like. Hopefully this helped inspire you to try this yourself. With all of the holidays and gatherings coming up, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try multiple different combinations.

Thank you for stopping by my website and reading my blog. I hope you find something to celebrate!

xoxo Teresa

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