Knowing how to present cold meats and cheeses is for many a relaxing and creative activity. All you need is a little inspiration and strategies to combine them with cheeses, sausages, fruits and other ingredients.
Charcuterie boards and cheese boards are dishes that have become trendy at restaurants, parties and gatherings in recent years. Not only because they are an excellent starter, but also because they are presented in a good artistic style, becoming the centrepiece of special gatherings.
This time, from Monouso we will show you how to prepare a cheese and ham board. Let’s go for it!
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What is a cheese and cured meats board?
The charcuterie and cheese board is a true culinary art. It is the organisation and preparation of cold meats, cheeses and sandwiches on a board. It has a very balanced combination of sweet, salty, spicy or sour flavours. Various types of cheeses and sausages are offered, with different shapes, textures, aromas and flavours.
Cheeses, which to use and how to serve them
When choosing the cheeses for our cheese board, we can base it on our taste or select some that we have not tried. In order to present a cheese board, flavours, aromas and textures must be taken into account.
It is essential that the cheeses are different and that their distinctive characteristics are valued, i.e. that it is not a boring and repetitive board. As a priority, it should be interesting to taste cheeses that represent the following elements:
- Animal origin: whether goat, sheep, cow or buffalo.
- Texture: whether it is hard, semi-hard, soft, blue or spreadable
- Rind: whether it is washed, mouldy, pressed or spiced.
- Curing: whether it is a soft, semi-cured, cured or aged cheese.
- Type: If it is fresh, sweet, pronounced, strong or very strong.
When serving on the board, it should be taken into account that the cheeses have to be at room temperature.
The difference in flavours and consistency is important, as it can be annoying if served fresh from the fridge.
It is also important that each cheese is cut and served in the correct way. In general, the wedge or the rectangle are the most suitable cutting formats for soft, semi-hard or hard cheeses, as part of the rind is preserved. If they are soft or spreadable, it is better to place them on bread or serve them in tubs or containers.
As for mature cheeses, it is advisable to present thin slices, as in this way the fat and aromatic power will not be too strong. Other very hard cheeses should be served in slices or irregular pieces.
Sausages, how to choose and serve them
When it comes to cured meats, it can be a bit complicated to choose them, because there is so much variety to choose from. Compared to cheeses, there is more freedom in presenting charcuterie on the table, as each geographical area has its own charcuterie.
First of all, you should choose the varieties well and take into account the quality of the sausage, in addition, they should be sausages that do not need to be cooked. You can choose some types of sausages, such as imperial, cular, fuet or salami. As well as some chorizo, lomo, morcón or hams. You can also combine cured, smoked and marinated sausages.
To present sausage dishes, it is preferable that they are already cut. Like cheeses, they should be served at room temperature, so they should be taken out of the fridge in advance.
The sausages should be cut with a sharp, non-serrated knife, so that the slices are thin. When served in this way, more nuances will be appreciated in the mouth and its texture will be more pleasant. The cut should be diagonal in sausages made with minced meat, such as chorizo or salchichón, because they look better aesthetically.
On the other hand, the straight or perpendicular cut should be made in sausages made from pieces of meat, such as loin. Ham can be cut in small sizes and thus can be eaten in one bite.
And the accompaniments?
A cheese and charcuterie board presentation will not be perfect if it is not accompanied by other products.
Next, we’ll talk about some of the accompaniments you can select:
- Breads and crackers: You can include a variety of breads, such as rustic and crispy crust or a good rye. You can also add bread with seeds or nuts, doughnuts or crackers.
- Jams and compotes: If they are homemade or homemade of good quality, all the better. They are a perfect accompaniment to combine with cheeses. Those with berries, raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, pepper or onion are good choices.
- Nuts: The most common when presenting a platter of cold meats and cheeses are almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, apricot kernels, prunes, dates or figs.
- Olives and pickles: You can add gherkins, onions and other ideal ingredients to combine with the cheeses on the board.
What should you consider before preparing a cheese and charcuterie platter?
Before preparing a cheese and charcuterie platter, it is essential that you take into account a few tips:
- It is important to be clear about the occasion for which the cheese and charcuterie board is to be organised. A family or friends gathering is not the same as an event with guests.
- The number of guests should be taken into account in order to calculate the amount of ingredients to be served.
- Select a good quality and resistant board or tray, like the ones you will find in Monouso, which are made of resistant and quality materials, available in different sizes, designs and colours.
Monouso products are ideal for use in the catering and hospitality sector. Visit our website and contact us.
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