Mmm—meats, cheeses and more deliciousness! Charcuterie might just be the world’s most perfect party offering. Whether you’re plotting a breezy summer barbecue or dining indoors, a well-constructed Charcuterie Board brings crowd-pleasing tastes to the table every time.

But before you start randomly merging all that goodness, get the lowdown on must-haves to turn a boring smorgasbord into a mouthwatering explosion of complementary flavors!

Meat and Greet

Fun fact: the word charcuterie originates from the French words for “meat” and “cooked” — and let’s face it, the meats are the stars of this tasty show. Cured prosciutto and salami with their rich saltiness pair well with crackers, cheese, and fruits like peaches, cantaloupe and watermelon. And add slices of savory chorizo sausageto appease the spice-enthusiasts in the room.

Say Cheese!

You can hardly go wrong when it comes to selecting yummy gourmet cheeses for your charcuterie board, however a variety of textures looks as appealing as it tastes. Serve up a soft Brie or semi-soft Gouda with a semi-hard Manchego; and offer one or two ultra-textural options like Swiss or Jarlsberg. Spice things up with a wedge of pepper jack, or add Gorgonzola blue cheese (bonus: they’re colorful!).

Pro tip: be sure to put out cheese knives so guests can easily help themselves to the spread.

The More, the Merrier

True charcuterie gurus will tell you a board loaded with diverse complementary flavors is a successful board. Create irresistible pairing choices with unique jams (like this sweet-and-spicy Peachy Sriracha jam!), zesty cornichons, salty olives or a nuts like almonds or walnuts. Try drizzling Brie cheese with a bit of honey and a sprig of fresh rosemary for a sweet surprise.

Lighten up a heavy medley with your favorite fruits. Fresh grapes, blackberries and sliced strawberries are always welcome onboard.

Breaking Bread

A natural charcuterie accoutrement is bread in all of its forms. Complete your board with Wine Sticks, pretzels, water crackers or slices of French baguette and you’ll be ready to enjoy this feast of flavors with hungry friends and family.

Ready to get on board the charcuterie train? Bon appétit!

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