A Christmas Charcutewreath Will Make Your Holidays Extra Merry
Charcuterie boards have come a long way from basic platters of meats and cheeses. Now there are boards themed around holidays, ones that strictly have sweets, and some that are even shaped like houses. As a member of the Facebook group Show Me Your Charcuterie, I'm constantly amazed at the creations by amateur and pro charcuterie makers. One festive version that recently caught my eye is a charcutewreath: meats, cheeses, and accompaniments arranged like a Christmas wreath. The person behind the gorgeous creation, Jennifer Dunham, tells me she creates boards as a hobby right now, but starting a business is a dream of hers. (And from the look of her boards, I think there's definitely a market for this edible art.)
Fresh Rosemary Charcutewreath
The wreath includes a variety of items. For cheese, she used Wensleydale, Brie. and a cheddar Parmesan mix. The meats include salami, soppressata, and pepperoni. Her accompaniments are Castelvetrano olives, sugared cranberries, candied pecans, dried Angelino plums, and pistachio pomegranate crisps. Dunham also included gingerbread men and peppermint pretzels "for a touch of sweetness," she says. The greenery around the board is fresh rosemary.
Dunham explains that she was influenced by Modern Brie, a custom charcuterie small business in Gilbert, Arizona. After searching #Charcutewreath on Instagram, I found that many of the 300 posts also credit Cynthia Baysinger, the owner of Modern Brie.
Perfectly Balanced Charcutewreath
This is the original charcutewreath that many people have emulated. Baysinger has been making boards for fun since 2016 and started her business in 2020. She got the idea for the wreath design after her sister suggested it. "I had never seen anything like it before, and so I started creating," she explains. For this board, Baysinger used brie, Truffle Tremor, cheddar, and blue cheese. The meats include salami and prosciutto. The small bowls have fig jam and honeycomb. She also added star cookies "to give it some extra holiday flare." All the ingredients are creatively layered around the edge of a round wood cheese board ($35, Amazon).
Baysinger says it isn't hard to create a charcutewreath. She recommends starting with fresh greenery around the base, like rosemary or eucalyptus, and just arranging whatever you'd like in a circle. "I think the possibilities are endless when it comes to these wreaths," she adds. Here are a few other beautiful options for inspiration on making your own charcutewreath. (To share with those in your household, of course.)
Bright Citrus Charcutewreath
Maureen Wolfe, the owner of Food and Board in New Orleans, says this board was inspired by the fruits growing in southern Louisiana at this time of the year. (She also created a gorgeous green board in the fall.) She displayed Meyer lemons and satsuma oranges for the fruits. The cheeses are manchego and Irish cheddar, and the meat is salami. Wolfe also added some sweets and greens throughout. "The story 'Twas the Night Before Christmas came to mind, and to me, it morphed into that," she says.
Single Rose Charcutewreath
The salami rose is the focal point of this board created by Ashley, a food stylist and charcuterie lover behind Sorrenteaux Boards. This simple yet delightful board also features brie, snowflake cookies, crackers, nuts, gingerbread men, and peppermint snowflake pretzels.
More Is More Charcutewreath
When everyone wants something different (I want all the cheeses, and my boyfriend likes various cured meats), your board likely looks something like this delicious display by Grate Boards. There's just about everything you could imagine on this vibrant platter, including brie and homemade cheese balls and prosciutto and salami for the cheeses and meats. There's also plenty of fruit, such as candied cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries. The board is complete with a few fun additions: olives, habañero jelly, cookies, and chocolate-covered pretzels.
Color Coordinated Charcutewreath
All the reds featured in this wreath by Monisha, owner of BoardsbyMo, complement each other beautifully. This wreath has cranberry goat cheese and brie for the cheese, and truffle salami and regular salami for the meats. There are also strawberries, raspberries, dried fruits, honey, candy canes, cookies, and almonds that pop against the surface of the round marble cheese board ($35, Amazon). Monisha also recently put together an impressive charcuterie Christmas tree that we are loving.
A Little Bit of Everything Charcutewreath
If it's just you grazing (or maybe one more) and you can't decide what to eat, this board created by Erica Moreno has a bite of sweet, salty, crunchy, and creamy, and is perfect for enjoying solo or as a couple. Moreno laid out fresh sage as the base and put down salami in the shape of roses. She added brie, manchego, and gouda cheeses. The crackers are pomegranate pistachio crips, which she says are "perfect for the season" and are from Trader Joe's. She also included fig spread, red grapes, candied orange slices, candied pecans, and mini sugar cookies for some sweetness. The savory components are roasted walnuts, and garlic stuffed green lives. She finished with sprigs of rosemary to fill in the blank spaces.
This story originally appeared on bhg.com