entertaining tips

creating a well-balanced charcuterie board

posted in: Food, Parties  |  August 22, 2018

The charcuterie board is a staple when entertaining. Whether it is served as an appetizer to tide guests over while dinner is being prepared, or as a savoury complement to dessert paired with a glass of port; the charcuterie board is a favourite because it offers variety and is easy to prepare. The key to creating a simple and delicious board is in selecting a balance of meat, cheese, fruit, nuts and crisps. I am happy to share how I select the components that go into my charcuterie board, which your guests are sure to love.


I like to include meats from different preparation styles. Start with some thinly sliced prosciutto, salami or smoked turkey. To add heartiness and contrast to the thin slices, add a cured sausage like Spanish chorizo or a French saucisson. To contribute an element of smoothness, include a pâté or terrine.


For a well-balanced board, you’ll want to include two firm and two soft cheeses. Firm cheeses are a natural fit for thinly sliced sweet salami or delicate prosciutto. The sharp, rich flavour of aged cheddar or the buttery, nutty combination of emmental make great choices. For soft cheeses, try a creamy brie or camembert. Include a blue cheese for a unique addition to the board; and for a visually appealing spread, try plating an odd number of cheeses using either three or five varieties.

Fruits and nuts:

This is your opportunity to add beautiful colours and textures to your board. Grapes, raspberries and blueberries add colour. Shelled and salted hazelnuts, or almonds, will add crunch and a savoury flavour.


I like to provide my guests with a few options when it comes to crisps. lesley stowe raincoast crisps® original are a staple for every board. The crisps have a toasty, nutty flavour with a slightly sweet finish that pairs well with a myriad of cheeses. While lesley stowe raincoast crisps® rosemary raisin pecan is full of toasty pecans, rosemary and juicy Thompson raisins that enhance the flavours of a soft cheese like brie, or a salami. I then round out my crisp selection with a unique flavour like the tart and toasty lesley stowe raincoast crisps® cranberry and hazelnut.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to creating a charcuterie board.

For additional inspiration, look to our pairing guide for suggestions on how lesley stowe raincoast crisps® can complement your board, and the creations you artfully compose for your guests. Enjoy!