How to host a charcuterie party with tips and ideas for sweet and savory charcuterie boards.
I recently returned from hosting my 9th bi-annual Fresh Air Retreat and it was a total success! This time around we went to New Orleans and the food and atmosphere were both amazing. I had the opportunity to meet a new group of great food bloggers, and we met and talked with some wonderful sponsors like Del Duca, La Panzanella, and raincoast crisps. Among all of the delicious food, lessons, and events we were able to attend, making charcuterie boards was a definite highlight. Such a fun and simple way to feed a group, and it has loads of possibilities! I thought I’d share what I learned so that you can also host a charcuterie party.
How to Host a Charcuterie Party
Choose a Theme
I’m always a fan of a good theme! Whether you want to choose charcuterie for a baby shower, bridal shower, or girls night, pick something to tie the food and décor together. You could also go themed with your charcuterie boards and choose to do only savory boards or only sweet.
Send Out Invitations
With my own charcuterie party being a part of our Fresh Air Retreat, my invitations doubled as an itinerary. But for any sort of formal gathering, you should try to get invitations out at least a month in advance! You want to make sure your potential guests don’t get double-booked with other activities or obligations. So make a fun invitation that matches your theme and get them out 4 weeks ahead of the party.
Decorating is usually something people totally love or really hate. But decorations don’t have to be elaborate! Even if it’s just some nice table settings, I like to have something to help set the atmosphere for a party. Fresh flowers, tableware, some candles and a tablecloth and your kitchen or dining room can suddenly feel a whole lot more fancy.
Make the Charcuterie Boards
When it comes to making your charcuterie boards, there are endless possibilities. However you’re definitely going to want a couple different cracker or baguette options. I like that La Panzanella croccantini has 8 different flavors to choose from, but are made with only 5 simple ingredients. Another great option is raincoast crisps as they also have different flavors to choose from, but the crackers already have a great blend of sweet and savory ingredients so they pair well with whatever cheese or jams you have on hand.
Since charcuterie literally means cured meat, picking the right kind is important. I loved using Del Duca‘s wide selection of salami, prosciutto, and capocollo for our boards. With varying levels of peppery and strong or mild and smooth flavors, they pair well with all sorts of cheeses and fruits. Also include on your tray some accompanying sides like: olives, pickles, fresh or dried fruits, nuts, herbs, and sauces like a spicy mustard or sweet honey. When picking your cheeses, have a selection of hard cheese, like parmesan or gouda, and soft cheese, like mascarpone or burrata.
Choosing a solid variety of cheese, meat, crackers, and nuts is a sure-fire way to have a successful, classic charcuterie board. Throw in some dark chocolate or chocolate covered pretzels for a perfect balance of sweet and savory. However, you can also do an exclusively sweet charcuterie board or themed boards. Make a board with different kinds of candy, do a s’mores board with different graham crackers, chocolates, and marshmallows. We took the s’mores idea one step further and used a little tabletop fire to roast our mallows!
Once you’ve decorated and the food is prepared, just wait for your guests to arrive and enjoy the party! We included some pre-made bites using raincoast crisps with burrata cheese, cherry tomatoes, and basil for a caprese salad feel, as well as cream cheese, poached pear, and candied walnuts. Having the food all be bite-sized makes it easy to eat and enjoy while talking or moving around the party!
Whether you make the charcuterie boards ahead of time, or set out platters of meat and cheese boards for your guests to make their own, the endless possibilities will ensure your charcuterie party is a success.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the 3 3 3 3 rule for charcuterie board?
A simple rule you can follow when first making charcuterie boards is to choose 3 meats, 3 cheeses, 3 starches, and then 3 sweet or savory sides!
Where does charcuterie come from?
Charcuterie is a French word, essentially just meaning “fancy meats.” However, you can make charcuterie boards without any meat at all, as the word has come to mean the style of presenting food on a board.
How do you calculate portions for a charcuterie board?
Since charcuterie is typically meant for snacking, and not to be used as a meal, just plan on around 2-3 ounces of meat and cheese per person. Then the accompanying sides will also help fill out any differences.
Eat It, Like It, Share It!
Did you host a charcuterie party of your own? Did you try making any of the boards we made? Snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share!
More Party Apps
- Baked Brie with Apple Cherry Compote
- Hummus and Hushwee Pinwheels
- Tomato Caprese Skewers with Pesto
- Honey Tangerine Goat Cheese Crostini
- Fruit Kabobs with Ginger Lemon Yogurt Sauce
I couldn’t have asked for a better group to get together with for a week in NOLA. My love for food and culture being shared with like-minded individuals is one of my favorite parts of being a food blogger. If you love food and sharing it with others as well, then hosting your own charcuterie party is a great way to connect and enjoy.
No fork required.