Charcuterie boards are the perfect party food. They’re great for grazing as you socialize and enjoy your celebration (without toiling away in the kitchen!), and they’re a never-fail conversation starter.
The problem with charcuterie boards is that they use premium ingredients, and lots of them. If you’ve got an overflowing, Instagram-worthy spread in mind, it’s easy to go overboard when you’re shopping, especially when grocery stores often have a myriad of choices. Plus, it can be hard to estimate the amount of cured meat your guests will actually want to eat (hint: It’s less than you think).
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Buy too little and your board can look sparse and your guests can be left hungry. Buy too much and you’re left with a surplus of meats and a far-exceeded budget. You want to create a stunning board, but you don’t want to spend your whole paycheck doing so. And you definitely don’t want to waste food in the process.
Never fear. In the book Boards: Stylish Spreads for Casual Gatherings, chef, food stylist, and entertaining enthusiast Elle Simone Scott put together a chart of the perfect portions for common board ingredients. She provided weights so that you can refer to the packaging as you shop, do a little mental math, and buy the perfect amount.
Boards: Stylish Spreads for Casual GatheringsTake boards beyond cheese and crackers. Show off your effortless entertaining style with showstopping spreads that will impress your guests but give you the flexibility to make or buy components as you choose.
Do remember to take into consideration the meal you’re serving (if you’re serving one at all) and adjust accordingly. If this is the main event, maybe scale it up, but if a big dinner awaits your guests, you can probably buy a little less.
A charcuterie cheat sheet for perfectly portioned boards
- Cheeses: 2 to 3 ounces per person
- Meats: 2 to 3 ounces per person
- Nuts: 2 to 3 tablespoons per person
- Crackers or bread: 4 to 6 ounces per person
- Vegetables or crudités: 4 to 8 ounces per person
- Dips: ½ cup per person
Now you can serve up your board with the confidence that everyone will be satisfied—and so will your wallet.