How To Make A Sweet And Salty Charcuterie Board
By Alex Marks
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Charcuterie boards are quickly becoming a staple appetizer in entertaining, due to their something-for-everyone nature.
While a traditional charcuterie board contains a variety of cheese and cured meats with crackers and sliced bread, a modern approach blends a selection of snacks organized around a theme, such as sweet and salty.
Below, we’ll detail how to arrange a sweet and salty charcuterie board for entertaining.
Sweet and Salty Snacks for a Charcuterie Board
The sweet and salty theme is so popular because it’s an easy way to put together a wide selection of snacks without going to the trouble of making a bunch of appetizers from scratch. Guests love these snack boards, too. They can mix and match whatever they want, while avoiding food items they don’t like.
In a time when it seems like everyone is following a special diet, avoiding gluten or dairy, or trying to reduce their sugar intake, the charcuterie board helps you host better parties without having to make individual dishes that satisfy everyone’s food requirements.
To create a crowd-pleasing sweet and salty charcuterie board, draw from popular snack items such as these:
- Chocolate-covered pretzels: Chocolate-covered pretzels are the perfect item for these snack boards because they’re sweet and salty. Look for gourmet pretzel rods covered with dark, white, or milk chocolate, and decorated with colorful sprinkles.
- Candied nuts: Like chocolate-covered pretzels, candied nuts are a perfect item for this snack board. They’re sweet and salty — with a crunchy, caramelized shell. Look for an assorted nut mixture that combines different candied nuts to add more variety to your snack board.
- Cookies: Since there’s always that time of night when everyone is craving something a little sweet, it’s good to put a purely dessert item (e.g., cookies) on the charcuterie board.
- Fresh fruit: Fresh fruit is naturally sweet and healthy, so it’s a good addition to the charcuterie board.
- Trail mix: Trail mix typically blends dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and sometimes chocolate. Put trail mix in a bowl with a small serving spoon, so guests can help themselves.
- Cheese: Cheese is something your guests will expect to see on these snack boards. Serve two types of cheese: one soft and creamy, such as a brie, and one salty, such as a cheddar or gouda. If guests will appreciate it, add a third cheese that’s a little funky. This could be a smoked cheese or blue cheese.
- Crackers or bread: Crackers or bread give guests something to pair with the cheese and use for the sweet and savory dips accompanying your snack board.
- Sweet and salty accompaniments: Sweet and salty dips elevate your snack selections from a random mixture to a sweet and salty gourmet snack platter. Choose dips that tie together the theme and are flexible enough that guests can dip several kinds of food into them. Consider sweet items such as fruit jam, salted caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, or peanut butter sauce — as well as savory dips such as hummus, ranch dressing, or tapenade.
How to Assemble a Sweet and Salty Charcuterie Board
Now that you have some ideas of sweet and salty charcuterie snacks, how do you arrange everything?
Select your serving board. This could be a cheese plate, baking sheet, or wooden cutting board. First, place the large items on the board, such as cheeses, as well as anything in bowls, such as your sauces. The large items should take a significant portion of the board’s real estate, leaving you with smaller pockets to pile your sweet and salty nibbles. Fill the gaps by moving from the center of the board outward.
As a final step,
add themed decorations for the season or the event — think miniature pumpkins for Halloween or sports props for a big game. These boards look best when they are bountiful, almost overflowing with food. That said, don’t make them so generous that you aren’t able to carry your board from the kitchen to the living room.
With these basic guidelines, you should be able to assemble a people-pleasing charcuterie board ideal for serving at everything from happy hours to game nights. Once you’ve mastered the concept, you can get creative by incorporating various snacks, dips, and decorations to make every party feel special!
Author bio: Alex Marks is a sales manager with more than 15 years of corporate and wholesale experience, managing accounts for some of the world’s largest brands and retailers. Marks brings her sales knowledge and leadership to Mrs Prindables, overseeing the gourmet caramel apple company’s Corporate Gifting, Promotional Products, Department Store, Affiliate, and Wedding programs.