10 Tips to Make the Ultimate Charcuterie Board with Master Salumist, Elias Cairo

There are those who serve store bought platters during the holidays and then there are those who create platters that are just…Instaworthy. Master salumist (master craftsman in the art of charcuterie making), Elias Cairo and owner of Olympia Provisions is here to school us on how to create and present the ultimate charcuterie board that will awe every guest in attendance.

Cheese board and wine

Photo Credit: Olympia Provisions

The Volume – As a general rule, serve two ounces of charcuterie per person. You should be able to get 30-40 slices per salami.

The Textures – Variety is pleasing to the eye and the palate. Match hard salami with delicate pâté, silky mousse, and decadent rillette.

The Flavors – We like to have a mix in flavors in our meats. Pair our dry cured salami with smokey meats such as Laundrauchscinken or Sweetheart Ham.

Cheese Board in the Kitchen

Photo Credit: Olympia Provisions

The Cheese – We say 2-3 cheeses per board, with a mix in textures. Make sure to get something hard alongside something creamy.

The Vehicle – Crackers, baguette, and crostini all make perfect carriers for the rich flavors.

The Pantry – Accent with acidic pickles, crunchy nuts, whole grain mustard (preferably something with a bold flavor such as Maille), tin fish and something sweet like quince jam or a drizzle of honey.

Cheese Board

Photo Credit:  Olympia Provisions

Something Warm – Especially during the holidays, add something warm to the plate. Like a crisped up sausage or warm rillettes. This way you’re pleasing all of the senses, taste, texture, temperature, etc.

Something Fresh – As a general rule of thumb, we like to pair the decadence of charcuterie with something lively or refreshing, like pears or apples, depending on the season.

Wine pairing with cheese

Photo Credit: Olympia Provisions

The Finish – Just before serving, drizzle pâté, rillettes, and mousse with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

The Wine – Nothing pairs better with an epic charcuterie board than wine. When you are serving a charcuterie board with variety in flavor, do the same with your wines. Serve a smorgasbord to taste and try with every bite.

Happy Holidays!

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