Scroll through your social media feed and you’ll probably see “charcuterie” boards of all types: breakfast boards with pancakes, bacon, syrup and fresh fruit; dessert boards with chocolates, cookies and brownies; and even fast food versions with french fries, chicken nuggets and a selection of sauces for dipping.
While the term has been used to encompass almost any selection of finger foods arranged on a surface, a true charcuterie board offers a selection of smoked and cured meats, sausages, pâté and the like, along with some supporting characters — crackers and cheese usually among them. (A cheese board, on the other hand, focuses more on a selection of cheeses.) Charcuterie boards are great for entertaining or enjoying solo, because you can feed any number of people without having to cook, which is always useful around the holidays — and for those days when you just can’t muster the energy. While in general anything goes, there are a few guidelines you should keep in mind to get the most out of these spreads.