As Christmas approaches and the party season begins, HelloFresh has revealed a tell-all guide from expert food stylists on how to create the perfect charcuterie board for your buffet table. The guide also features new research on the UK’s favourite foods to feature on charcuterie boards.
With 12,000 monthly searches for “charcuterie board” and over a 5000% rise in search interest in the last month for “christmas charcuterie board”, there’s no doubt that charcuterie boards are going to be hugely popular amongst party food this festive season.
The term “charcuterie” refers to the preparation of cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, and ham, but in the last few years, this term has been taken one step further to create a fun, creative board of cured meats, cheeses, fruit, antipasti, and crackers.
Analysing the average number of monthly searches for the UK’s favourite cured meats, cheeses, fruits, and antipasti, HelloFresh has revealed which charcuterie board toppings will most likely please your guests’ taste buds.
Top 5 cured meats
Top 5 cheeses
Top 5 fruits
Top 5 antipasti foods
The data revealed the UK’s favourite cured meat is chorizo, its favourite cheese is halloumi, its favourite fruit is apple, and its favourite antipasti is artichoke. The top five favourites included some popular charcuterie toppings, including prosciutto, salami, camembert, grapes, and olives. Including these most-loved toppings is sure to make you known amongst friends and family as one of the best charcuterie board makers around.
How to style the best charcuterie board for your guests
Step one: Fill small ramekins with your dips, spreads, and smaller items and place them onto your board to create structure.
Step two: Add your cheese, placing them evenly around the board with space around each for slicing. Then add your meats, folding them in any way you’d like and placing them around the board.
Step three: Place your crackers on the board. Laying them so that they’re overlapping usually works best, as it allows guests to easily grab them from the board.
Step four: Fill in the rest of the gaps on the board with fruit, vegetables, antipasti, and more. This step is important, as it really brings your board to life.
HelloFresh’s in-house food expert, Mimi Morley, says their number-one tip is to go wild. “Add as many of the UK favourites as you can because you want your guests to really enjoy it. Get creative with the design and use some of the styling tips we’ve recommended. But one important thing to remember is that it’s OK if the foods touch; they’re meant to be enjoyed together!”
The experts at HelloFresh have also revealed top tips for dressing and styling charcuterie boards. From meat roses to different-shaped cheeses, this list of ways to prepare your board will have you longing for summer nights with your charcuterie board and a crisp glass of something sparkling.
1. Meat roses
Meat roses started as a TikTok trend during the pandemic. Now, with over 13.6 million views, #meatrose has become a popular way to style your cured meats for your charcuterie board.
To create your own meat rose, grab yourself a wine glass and a pack of round cured meat, such as salami. First, place one slice of meat on the rim of the glass and fold. Keep doing this around the rim of the glass, allowing them to overlap, but only just.
Then, on your second layer, you will do the same but bring the meat slices closer together, bringing them closer with each layer you add. How many slices of meat you use will depend on your glass. Once you’re done, place the glass against your board and pull away from the meat.
2. Fun-shaped cheeses
This creative way of dressing cheese works best on cheeses with a sturdy structure, such as cheddar, gouda, and manchego.
Simply grab yourself a mixture of shape cutters and cut your favourite shapes into your cheese, whether they be stars or hearts of flowers. For best results, cut your cheese into one-inch slices before you cut your shapes out. This way, you’ll have delicious bite-sized cheese shapes for your charcuterie board.
3. Create trails with your crackers
Styling your crackers can be tricky. Unlike cured meats and cheeses, which have a bit of room to bend and shape, crackers need to remain intact. However, using your crackers to create a trail around your charcuterie can be a creative way of leading one’s eye to the other things on offer, such as meats and antipasti.
Lay your crackers on your board in any direction depending on how you plan to style your board, allowing them to lay on top of one another like a fallen trail of dominoes.