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The Best Way to Present a Charcuterie Board

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Photo: Elena.Katkova (Shutterstock)

People are very into their boards at the moment. I’m not going to comment on the viral butter board, except to say that it is a perversion of the butter board I came up with last year, and that mine is a better, more sanitary concept. But enough about that. The best boards are made of meats and cheeses, artfully arranged, with other little snacky bits that complement the meat and/or cheese.

Cheese has its own beauty, but it can be a little harder to make meat visually appealing. One thing you can do to jazz things up? Fold your charcuterie, people. It gives your salami, et al. a neater, more inviting appearance, but it also makes it easier to grab and transfer to your mouth.

Party meats usually come packed in neat little rows, either by the deli or processor, and you might be tempted to simply remove the meat from its packaging and plunk it on the board. It will, however, be quite obvious that you did that, which communicates a slight lack of care. But, more practically, no one wants to spend valuable party time peeling meat off of meat. Have you ever tried to separate two thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto in front of a crowd? It’s a nightmare. Save your guests from the indignity of it all.

The easiest way to do this is to take the meat out of whatever packaging it was sold in, then fold it on itself into little half moons, and lay those little half moons out in a row. For softer slices like mortadella and sliced hams, you can fashion them into little fluffy piles. For truly clingy charcuterie, like thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma, wrap it around a breadstick so your guests can grab and go, without touching the meat at all. (A salami rose is also a cute option, though I have found people are hesitant to disrupt its beauty.)

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