Charcuterie Boards Made Magic
A theme for every occasion, these boards are endlessly customizable!
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We all love a good cheese board. Don't even try to tell me you don't; you know you do. A board of goodies to pick at before the main meal, or even as a main meal itself for a quick and dirty date night? Wine and savory snacks, whether at home in front of a movie or out somewhere in the park for a picnic, is an instant good time.
Charcuterie is a French term, and the idea behind this was always just eating smoked meats from every part of the animal, leaving nothing wasted. A good practice, considering how expensive meat was (and still is, honestly)! And European culture (that I know of, at least: the German and Slovenian kind) is always ready to have a bit of smoked meat and good bread for a dinner time meal, something light but still filling.
So knowing all this—that the board is just basically meat—how can you dress it up in the modern era? And how can those dressings help you invoke a bit of magic in your Girls' NIght, your date nights, or even your professional events?
Well, I don't think I need to tell you how to make one: the only directions for charcuterie boards are cut what needs to be cut, arrange everything to look pretty, and serve. But here are three combinations for a charcuterie board I put together to bring all kinds of different magic to the table: namely the magic of romance and joy, protection and empowerment, and creativity and prosperity.
Magic in Charcuterie Board Spreads
ROMANCE & LOVE
For date nights, picnics with a lover, or a night of self care to make yourself feel luxurious.
For romance and love, I was thinking sweet. There are many fruits that can add a little love and joy to your life, and for me, this meant sweet fruits, soft, rich cheese, buttery and bright meats, and fruit-infused crackers, as well as some roasted nuts and sweet dressings. Here's what ended up on the platter:
Cranberry-orange infused goat cheese
Sopressata salame (for its sweet fennel and chili pepper).
Cranberry hazelnut crackers
Cinnamon roasted almonds
In this situation, we're bringing in a lot of different associations. With orange bringing in luck, working with strawberry and cranberry on love, and the humble hazelnut bringing luck and wish-granting, too, there's already a sense of sweetness here. Add a little sweet spice with the salame and the almonds, as well as some energy of prosperity and abundance to ensure you have love aplenty, and a bit of golden, opportunistic honey overall, and you have a board perfect for any romantic occasion (or any self-love occasion, too!)
The energies at play here are the classics: Venus (of course), the Sun, and Mars, with water and fire dancing together to bring romance, beauty, passion, and vigor, as well as a sunny and cheerful optimism to tie these balanced energies together.
PROTECTION & EMPOWERMENT
For when you want to cast off the ick of a long week, build your walls up for any coming challenges, and remind yourself that you are strong and capable.
For protection and empowerment, I was thinking an earthier sweet, with a bit more tanginess and some more savory flavors mixed in, so I went with:
Herbed goat cheese
Italian dry salame (for the burgundy wine and garlic notes)
Genoa salame (for its cracked black pepper and garlic flavors)
All about protection and empowerment, apple and grape help you bring in a sense of fertility, whether in your creative projects or in your home. Apple's qualities of love also inspire self-love, and grape fortifies one's mental power. Add the herbed goat cheese, with herbs like thyme and oregano, basil and rosemary, and you've got a powerful group to foster and protect your joy, too. And of course, fig provides that sense of self love, while olive and garlic guards and protects from evil. With walnuts to grant your wishes, you can look to the future with courage.
The energies of the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, the Sun, and Mars, you have a hell of a spread—yet the elements remain water and fire. Fostering your emotional intelligence, feeling radiant and beautiful and lucky enough to make all your wishes come true, shining with optimism and ready to protect all you've worked for: that's the power within this classic spread of fruits and cheeses.
PROSPERITY & CREATIVITY:
For professional functions, team meetings, or other places where creativity counts and money is on your mind.
Lastly, our prosperity and creativity board took a spicier, savory bend. To me, getting your butt in gear and bringing fresh ideas in means getting things like peppers involved, especially hot peppers. But along with that, we've got items here that bring money and protection, too.
Pepper jack cheese
Calabrese salame (for its red chili pepper notes)
Sopressata salame (for that sweet fennel and chili)
Toasted garlic crackers
Now, there's a lot of fire in this just from a glance. You've got peppers, and lots of them, always a source of passion, creativity, and also protection, which is important to preserve the wealth and prosperity tomatoes and cashews can bring (and the garlic is anti-theft, too, if you didn't know!).
The energies here are straight forward: Venus and Mars, water and fire dancing together in a much different dance than the romance board. Venus's watery energy connects us to our emotions, wishes, dreams, and aesthetics, while Mars is the creative heavy hitter, flaring strong and igniting our ambition and passion for what we want to achieve (as well as the strength to defend it). It's important to remember not only to cultivate your dreams, but to protect them enough to see them bloom and fruit, too!
And of course, all of these things have more associations you can use to switch and swap. You might include peppers in your protection board, or orange and cinnamon almonds in your prosperity board. And of course, we can't forget that cheese itself has many uses: namely in the earthy prosperity we're always looking to bring into our lives, but also in the richness of love.
Afterwards, when you have your flavors picked out, you can then also choose your wines.
Charcuterie Board Three Ways
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Makes 3-4 Servings per spread
FOR LOVE & JOY
Orange, peeled & split
1/2 Block Brie
Cut for spreading
Cranberry-Orange Goat Cheese