Party time! And just in time for July 4th celebrations!

You may be familiar with the popular term charcuterie boards. They are a great way to serve snacks and appetizers to your family and guests.

While you can serve anything you like on a charcuterie board, these are the most common ingredients:

  • Cured meats – salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, pancetta or other deli meats
  • Cheese options – include a variety of hard and soft cheeses, like mozzarella, goat cheese, white cheddar, blue cheese or Gorgonzola – served in slices or blocks
  • Fruits – dried or fresh, such as apples, grapes, dried apricots, or raisins
  • Nuts – mixed nuts, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds, which could include chocolate-covered nuts
  • Crackers – include a variety of sizes, shapes and tastes; gluten-free crackers, small slices of bread and pretzels are also options
  • Spreads or dips – such as hummus, guacamole, Greek yogurt, honey, apricot preserves
  • Vegetables – either fresh or pickled, like baby dill pickles, cucumber slices, squash, carrots, olives

Since you are basically creating a snack tray, use any foods you like or have on hand.

A good charcuterie board is all about presentation, so choosing the board and serving utensils can add to the personality of your spread. Use serving pieces like cheese knives, tongs, sugar shells, pickle forks, and baby silverware. If you don’t have what you need, check out thrift stores and estate sales and start a collection of interesting serving utensils.

Consider a large cutting board or Lazy Susan as the base for your spread. You may also look for one at thrift or home stores such as Ikea, HomeGoods, Tuesday Morning or T.J. Maxx.

Now that you have selected your foods, serving board and utensils, how you put it all together is what makes your charcuterie board stand out. Although there really are no rules, your arrangement of food should be artistic and inviting.

Here are a few suggestions for your photo-worthy board:

  • Select small and decorative serving bowls or ramekins for your spreads, jams, pickles or olives and spread them out on the board
  • Use whole fruits or blocks of cheese
  • Arrange meats and cheeses in circles, rows, or semicircles, overlapping or stacking for visual interest
  • Fill in open spaces with groupings of small items like dried fruit or chocolate-dipped nuts

And don’t forget to take photos of your prize-winning spread!

How about jarcuterie, also called grazing cups? Although food items similar to those on a charcuterie board are used, the difference comes in how they are served. Jarcuteries are basically single-serving charcuterie boards, so jars are an appropriate serving package.

You can use any of the same food items as on your charcuterie board. But consider varying the size and shapes of your food choices. For instance, breadsticks would be easier to manage in a jar than round crackers. Skewers holding fruits are another serving option. Folding and rolling meats is a good way to present them in a jar.

Again, there are no rules, so pick and choose what you like and how you can arrange the items for attractive presentation and ease in eating.

Want to know more? I found several beautiful books on the subject that I think you’re going to love!

Here are two of the highest-rated books on charcuterie boards on Amazon. Click on the book title below the image for details.

                      “Beautiful Boards”                                                   “Graze”

“Beautiful Board” is the #1 best seller on Amazon with 86% 5-star reviews from over 7800 reviewers. And Graze is the Editor's Pick, which has 77% 5-star reviews from over 800 reviewers.

This newly-published Jarcuterie book is already garnering great reviews! Although there are only 24 reviews, 81% of them are 5-star! Click on the title below the photo for more information.


I also found this great charcuterie board and cheese platter, equipped with serving utensils in an all-in-one package!! It's almost 30% off with an additional 5% coupon right now! Click on the title below the image to take a closer look!

                            Charcuterie Board and Cheese Tray with Knife Set

So – what’s your take on a snack buffet – charcuterie or jarcuterie?

Take a picture of your spread and send it to me! I’d love to share it with others!


Disclosure: My blog posts sometimes contain affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase, which is at no additional cost to you. Thank you!


I’m Vicki Peel, former home economics teacher and educational administrator. If you are not receiving my emails, coupons, and freebies, look for the Subscribe block (below right) and submit your contact information. I will not share your information with anyone, and all the content you will receive as part of our community is free. I may occasionally promote someone else’s paid content, offer a product for your consideration or share an item that I think might be of use to you. However, you are under no obligation to purchase anything – ever. So, sign up now so you won’t miss anything during our March – June foods extravaganza!!