Charcuterie boards are certainly not exclusive to summer. Now's the time to create a charcuterie board bursting with all the best fall flavors and colors. Use our charcuterie board field guide to spark inspiration for the perfect appetizer.
Think Flavor Profiles
There's a sense of magic that comes with a well-designed charcuterie board. No matter the selections a customer pairs together, the result should be delicious. To achieve optimal pairings, combine sweet, savory, salty, and tangy elements.
Easy, go-to sweet elements could include preserves and jams, fresh pears or experiment with dried figs. Meat can serve as the board's star savory element. Sausage or turkey are tried-and-true fall favorites, so turkey jerky could be the perfect addition to your fall charcuterie board. Cheeses can swing as sweet or savory. Nothing beats a sharp, golden cheddar to add color and a punch of sharp flavor to your board; or modify with goat cheese drizzled in honey to tame it down with sweetness.
The easiest way to add tangy elements to your board is pickled veggies. Think beyond traditional olives and include something surprising, like pickled okra.
Of course, we can't fail to mention pumpkin. If the pumpkin spice movement has left you feeling uninspired, consider using pumpkin as a savory flavor rather than sweet. Throw on some pumpkin hummus with house-made pumpkin crackers. To cut down on food waste, try utilizing every element of the pumpkin by roasting the seeds.
The golden rule for a charcuterie board is mixing textures. Consider crunchy fall nuts with a soft goat cheese brie, or soft bread combined with hearty beef jerky. If your board's texture leans too soft or too crunchy, it can leave your customers with the sense that something is missing.
Charcuterie boards aren't supposed to be neat and organized. In fact, you can embrace the chaos by incorporating an abundance of meats, cheeses, dried fruits, and pickled veggies. Be sure to place each element in its own neat pile to avoid a haphazard-looking appearance.
Just like a fine painting, a charcuterie board should have color balance, so place similar colors on opposite sides of the board. Since each flavor on the charcuterie board should complement one another, it is okay, and even encouraged, to set the elements so close together they touch.
To feature your dips and spreads, select small dishes to enrich the board. Go with a neutral color like white or a subtle element like iron to avoid clashing with the other colorful pieces. After all, you want the food itself to stand out, not the serving ware.
You can take your fall charcuterie board to the next level by using a miniature pumpkin shell to display hummus in. Serve the entire ensemble on a wood tray with rough bark on the edges to evoke a woodsy fall feel.
Use High-Quality Ingredients
One way to attract your customers to a charcuterie board is to embrace seasonality. Consult with your SGC Foodservice sales representative on seasonal produce options. Consider the seasons, and what items peak your interests and taste buds. Your patrons will appreciate the uniqueness and freshness of seasonal favorites.
Consider a Build-Your-Own Option
Put the power in your patron's hands by allowing them to assemble their own charcuterie board from a list of selected items. For example, you can divide the elements into their own categories like meats, cheeses, sweet add-ons, and savory add-ons. Give your customers three to five options in each category for an easy way to impress even the pickiest of diners.
Offer Drink Pairings
It's no secret that a charcuterie board makes a great appetizer or bar snack. Educate your wait staff with drink recommendations to complement the flavors. Sherries tend to bode well with charcuterie boards because this rich drink complements both sweet and savory foods. A deep cabernet will not only add to a fall charcuterie board's color scheme, but it will also pair well with nearly any cheese.