Charcuterie is a great dish for any occasion. Whether you are entertaining a few friends, or catering for a large party, charcuterie is always a crowd pleaser. It has something for everyone, and allows guests to indulge in small delicacies that they would otherwise pass up at the gourmet grocery store. Although charcuterie’s can be made into endless combinations, the price tags for the bits and pieces can easily add up.
For this reason, many hosts and hostesses forgo a charcuterie plate altogether, and opt for a simpler fruit and vegetable plate instead. But there are affordable ways to pull off the perfect charcuterie if you just use our guide below! Continue reading to learn some fun, budget-friendly charcuterie ideas and tips.
What is Charcuterie?
A charcuterie plate, or board, is simply a diverse spread of gourmet or artisanal meats, cheese, breads, condiments, vegetables, and more. The ways to prepare a charcuterie plate are infinite, and do not have to include all of the above-mentioned food groups. You can choose to be as creative as you like, using any combination of any finger foods imaginable. A good range is 3 to 5 ingredients, at least. You can use a serving tray, wood cutting board, or other fancy flatware. Gain ideas by choosing a theme, items in season, non-regional selections, or simply your favorite things to eat!
There are, however, a few helpful rules to follow when preparing a charcuterie plate. For instance, in terms of meat, be sure to have 2 ounces of meat per person. If you are catering to a large crowd, increase the weight to 5 ounces per person. And be sure to serve more bread for larger crowds, especially if the charcuterie is the main food attraction. Also, keep a good ratio of salty, sweet, and sour for a diverse and multi-layered gastro-experience. This ensure you have something for everyone too!
Considerations for Charcuterie:
• Small pickles
• Preserves and jams
• Spices and brown sugar
• Ground mustard
• Smoked Sausage
• Salami and pepperoni
• Crackers and bread
• Olive oil
You don’t have to visit the local gourmet grocers to make a great charcuterie plate either. Your neighborhood Kroger or March is sure to have a special section that offers a wide range of home-made, artisanal, gourmet foods. Typically, this section is found in the deli or produce areas. Here you will find better deals for all these fantastic foods. And don’t forget to pair it with the perfect cocktail, beer, or wine! Look below for a guide to the perfect (and affordable) charcuterie board!