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An Easy, Yet Epic Charcuterie Display

A few months ago, I saw this epic charcuterie table presentation by Marina Mcavoy on IG. I saved it right then and there, knowing it would be the perfect thing for my husband's 30th birthday party with his family. We both love meat and cheese platters, and we knew our guests would too, so it was an ideal fit for our casual get together.

While a board so large in scale can be intimidating, it is actually quite easy to put together. To start, I knew I would use the simple brown craft paper as my 'board,' so I asked a neighbor and they had some on hand I was able to use! If you don't have access to such a handy neighbor, it is available by the roll at craft stores such as Michael's, Jo Anns and Hobby Lobby. Next, select your vessels and non-food items, such as bowls, jars, candles and flowers. The addition of the candles and flowers really give it dimension and height, making your board all the more visually appealing. I got these beautiful blooms from Trader Joe's and used jars, vases and candle votives I already owned from around the house.

Then, I selected my carbs - breads, crackers, etc. I went with a ciabatta loaf, focaccia bread, pita crackers and breadsticks, all from Trader Joes. Since I was the only guest with celiac, I used more normal bread and crackers for my guests and had one type of cracker and a GF french loaf from Udi's for myself. These items were the first things I placed of the paper, and then started to fill in around them.

Next up was the meat selections. I chose a red wine hard salami and spanish meats sampler pack from Trader Joes (included chorizo, salchichon and serrano ham). I used the Creminelli Varzi salami from Whole Foods (my absolute favorite!) and then some sliced prosciutto from Boar's Head at the Publix deli counter. I made sure to distribute the meats of each type evenly around the entire paper, don't feel like you have to keep all of each kind together. This allows for a better flow of people picking and grabbing their favorites.

Now for the cheese, the glorious cheese! I wanted to go with crowd pleasers here and varieties that went well with my other selections on the board. I got a big hunk of traditional parmesan (spring for the good stuff on this- don't cheap out! The taste difference is worth it), some soft brie (which I coated with raw honey), a syrah soaked toscano and an aged manchego - all from Trader Joe's. From Whole Foods I got my personal favorite, Drunken Goat, My hubby's favorite, Rum Runner Bella Vitano by Sartori and a robust Gouda.

Finally, the accoutrements! These are sometime my favorite parts, the little extra pops of color and flavor on the board that round out the experience. My favorite find was the peruvian pearl peppers (the little red tear drop things in the trio bowl). They are delicious and so cute. Then I of course had a selection of olives, some fine cornichons, roasted garlic hummus, bruschetta, grapes, small heirloom tomatoes and an amazing organic Adriatic fig spread. This spread I specifically placed by the manchego and gouda because of the delicious flavor combination with those two cheeses.

And that was it! Took me about 20 minutes to assemble the whole thing once I had everything sliced and ready to go. It turned out to be the perfect main dish for the party and allowed for mingling, saw eating and was quite the conversation starter! I already have some of them asking for this at their next birthday! Let me know your favorite meats and cheese for when I craft my next masterpiece!



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