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Here are some tips on how you can create a beautiful cheese platter for your next dinner party

Charcuterie boards have been all the rage on social media for quite some time, and especially so during the festive season. While this term has recently been used to encompass almost any selection of foods on a platter, a true charcuterie board typically offers a selection of smoked and cured meats, crackers, and cheese.
 
These boards are great for entertaining guests, as they are quick and easy to create—what’s more, no cooking skills are required to make one. These boards are also versatile, with unlimited variations and can be adapted to any occasion.
 
When done right, a wonderfully plated charcuterie board will consist of a beautiful medley of tastes and textures. Not only are these boards a feast for the palate, but also on the eyes.
 
Although, in general, anything can go on a charcuterie board, there are a few tips you can keep in mind when creating a spread. Here’s what you need to know to create an impressive charcuterie spread.

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1. Choose a board

Charcuterie boards can be as big or as small as you want. A special board is not necessary either. Use a wood cutting board, or even a serving tray as its base.

2. Select your favourite meats

The term “charcuterie” originates in France, referring to a shop which specialises in cured meat. As such, it can be said that meat should be the spotlight of the board. Any cured meat can be a great addition to any board, such as salami, calabrese and ham. Prosciutto is a versatile meat to have on a board—its chewiness and saltiness can be balanced with most cheeses.

3. Use a variety of cheese

When assembling a board, consider having a variety of flavour, texture and colour. Choose a range of hard and soft cheeses, in different shapes and sizes. Hard cheeses can include cheddar, swiss gouda, and gruyere. While soft cheese can include brie, goat cheese, and blue cheese.

4. Add some crackers

Crackers are important to any charcuterie board, as it will serve as a base for any cheese and meat pairing. Thinly sliced baguette or toasted sandwich bread can also be a great replacement for crackers. These crackers can add a satisfying crunch to a board, without taking away from the cheese and charcuterie.

5. Savoury snacks

Savoury accompaniments such as nuts and vegetables can add a nice crunch ad texture to the board.

6. Sweet treats

Sweet accompaniments such as fruit, jam and honey can lend a nice sweetness to the overall experienceJams such as apricot and fig pairs well with cheese. While fruits such as grapes and apples add a nice touch to any board, while pairing well with cheese.

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7. Arrange and put it all together

Build the board starting with large items such as cheese and meats. Cheese can be sliced into wedges, cubes or served as is. While meats can be rolled or folded. Smaller items such as sweet and savoury accompaniments can help to fill any remaining space. Further decorate your board with fresh herbs or flower for addition pops of colour.
 
If you are short of time, various stores also offer premade artisanal platters for your enjoyment. Here are some to try:

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Lush Platters

Lush Platters offers decadent platters that are customisable and made to order. Within each spread, expect a traditional selection of cheese, charcuterie, dips and fruit, finished with vibrant herbs and flowers. Its signature truffle cheese and honeycomb box is a crowd favourite. The box puts the spotlight on its luscious and aromatic triple cream French brie with truffle, accompanied with raw Australian honeycomb, fresh fruit and gourmet crackers. Order here

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Nomad’s Soirée

This halal artisanal grazing platter company offers a beautiful selection of charcuterie boards perfect for any occasion. Try its signature palm leaf platter which comprises of a wonderful selection of four artisanal cheeses, cold cuts, fruit and dips. Orders must be placed two days in advance. Order here.

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The Plattering Co.

Here, beautifully arranged platters are stuffed with aromatic cheeses, savoury cold cuts, seasonal fruits and gourmet crackers. Go for its gourmet cheese & fruit platter box which features a cornucopia of premium treats, including its fragrant truffle gouda, vibrantly-coloured seasonal fruit and artisanal crackers. Opt to add a bottle of tipple to complete the opulent spread. Order here.

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