Cheese & Charcuterie Party

tips for setting a cheese and charcuterie spread

I love cheese…all types, all flavors, all forms. My husband loves meat…all types, all flavors, all forms. What better way to appease both palates than by serving up a Cheese & Charcuterie spread?! That’s what we did over the summer, and this is how it turned out.

There’s something for everyone and there’s also something so “romantic” about eating food this way…you know – small bites, eating with your hands, mixing and matching flavors. It also reminds me of the time we spent in France and Italy many years ago. Although nothing can compare to the freshness of the food we had there, the combinations we prepared were delicious none the less. Here are some tips for putting together your own spread

tips for setting a cheese and charcuterie spread tips for setting a cheese and charcuterie spread tips for setting a cheese and charcuterie spread tips for setting a cheese and charcuterie spread

Ideas & Tips

  • Use craft paper as a “table cloth” and serve the food right on it. Use a marker to label each item, writing directly on the paper. I did this digitally in the top photo because my handwriting is BAD and I wanted the photo to look pretty, but otherwise I would have just written on the paper. I also added a couple of theme-appropriate rub-on transfers to the paper – just for some added detail.
  • Serve a variety of meats and cheeses and don’t get too hung up on what’s “proper” and what’s not – just have fun with it. I chose to serve brie {a soft cheese}, Gorgonzola {an Italian blue with a mild flavor}, Havarti with dill {semi-hard cheese}, and white cheddar {a classic choice & a hard cheese}. The meats were summer sausage and sliced salami from my favorite deli {Whole Foods}.
  • This spread was all about savory flavors so I served cornichons {tiny sweet pickles – okay, was that a contradiction?}, olives {spiced & plain with pits}, and mixed nuts. I was lucky enough to be sent a sample pack of Verdi olives and used them here. Yes, they were scrumptious and I even used the juice from the plain ones to make a dirty martini!
  • You have to serve items that will serve as a base for your cheese and charcuterie. My favorite choice is French baguette and flat bread crackers. These are almost flavorless so they are the perfect vehicles to allow the flavors of the meats and cheeses to shine through.
  • The real fun in serving up a table like this is trying different combinations of meats and cheeses together. Just when you think you’ve found your favorite combo you try another and love it even more. I happen to love the cornichons served on top of the salami and white cheddar. Who would have thought those little sweet pickles would go so well?!
  • IMPORTANT TIP:  Be sure to let your cheese come to room temperature {while covered} before serving.  That way you get the full flavor.

tips for setting a cheese and charcuterie spread tips for setting a cheese and charcuterie spread tips for setting a cheese and charcuterie spread tips for setting a cheese and charcuterie spread

So, that’s how we roll on a Friday night. How about you? Do you love cheese and charcuterie – what’s your favorite flavor?

Have a great day!

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About Chris

Chris Nease is a party stylist and home entertaining expert with over 15 years of experience. In addition to her work as founding editor of Celebrations At Home, Chris is an editorial stylist and contributor to Homes.com, Marie Callender's, and SheKnows. Most recently her work has been published in Woman's World, Yum Food & Fun for Kids, and Cottages & Bungalows.

Comments

  1. What a great party theme! We also love cheese & charcuterie. You made this look so cute and easy!

  2. Love this!! Love cheese, and cheese pairings! I love it so much I’ve written about it on my blog in the past. http://www.at-altitude.com/great-cheese-plate/

    My favorite party cheese has to be La Tur!

  3. This could easily be my last meal! I love eating with friend and family and hands! Cheese, charcuterie, french bread, olive and nuts, heaven!

    The craft paper is a great idea too.

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