Charcuterie Board Tips to Dazzle Your Customers

Trivia time!

What is this year’s No. 1 appetizer, according to the National Restaurant Association?

Chicken wings? We Americans do like our chicken wings. But, no, wings aren’t at the top.

Spinach artichoke dip? That classic savory concoction warms the belly. Yet, it’s not first place.

The No. 1 appetizer appeals to humans’ desire to nibble at tasty morsels while socializing with friends and family. It’s the charcuterie board–an appetizer that’s literally been around for hundreds of years. Thanks to our penchant for grazing, the charcuterie board has risen to a top spot on appetizer and party menus.

If you haven’t yet embraced the trend, the top-rated charcuterie board is a must-have on your menu with Cooper® cheese as the perfect partner. Whether you’re a charcuterie newbie or have arranged a board or two in your time, check out our charcuterie board tips. They are sure to bring customers coming back for more.

1. Choose a Theme

A theme for your board helps set the stage. Even if it’s a classic mix of meats, cheeses (yes, please!) and fruit, consider how colors and tastes will work together to level up your appetizer. Of course, some boards follow traditional themes, such as holidays, specific meals like breakfast, or ethnic foods. But, we’ve also seen creative creations that make us giggle (think transforming food into faces), and others have awed us with their beauty. When it comes to charcuterie creativity, the sky’s the limit!

2. Consider the 3 3 3 3 Rule

For traditional meat and cheese boards, the 3 3 3 3 rule says the perfect board has three meats, three cheeses, three starches and three accompaniments. We certainly can’t argue with that! Even if you’re stepping outside the norm to, say, arrange a fruit and nut board, keep the four 3s in mind. In that case, all three Cooper® Sharp cheeses would easily check the accompaniments box.

3. Mix Flavors and Textures

The best charcuterie boards make taste buds dance. Salty, sweet, sour, and maybe a bit of spice–they all have a place on your board, as do crunchy and creamy. Nuts, olives, pickles, condiments, sauces, and jams should be invited to the party. Throw caution to wind by trying combinations that stretch the imagination. Have you paired Cooper® Sharp cheeses with honey? It’s the bee’s knees! Or how about savory Cooper® cheese with decadent chocolate? It’s a match made in food heaven.

4. Prepare Your Canvas

Consider your board a work of art. Foods like Cooper® cheese cubes, cherry tomatoes, and fruit chunks can be skewered on decorative picks and displayed in cups to add height to your board. Use eye-catching bowls for sauces and condiments. Add accompaniments between main items. And finally, put the finishing touch on your canvas by dressing it with herb sprigs or edible flowers.

Including the No. 1 appetizer on your menu–made with these charcuterie board tips–will make you No. 1 in the hearts of your customers. Remember to take photos of your winning boards to share on social media. And when you invite Cooper® to the party, share a pic with us, too. We can’t wait to see your creation!

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