A large charcuterie board is filled with Ontario cheeses, cured meats and dips.

Charcuterie Boards

A Board for Every Occasion

Boards can be crafted for any meal, from breakfast to dessert. The objective is to create new taste experiences, contrasting unique flavours and textures to delight your guest's tastebuds! No longer an appetizer or party food, boards are being used as a deconstructed way of serving a main course reminiscent of family-style dinners, as experiential dessert tasting buffets and as gorgeous, regionalized works of art delivering a true taste of place and season.

Here are some quick tips to creating your own charcuterie board.

Gather your Tools

The first rule to charcuterie boards is that there are no rules!  You don't need fancy or expensive platters, bowls or tools, but here are some basics that make creating boards easier:

  1. Any serving platter, rimmed baking sheet, cutting board or serving board can serve as the base to your charcuterie board.

  2. You can use specialty cheese serving knives, forks or normal salad forks and butter knives to serve.

  3. For messy or moist items like jam, honey, olives or pickles, use ramekins or small dishes.

Savour Ontario Harvest Board featuring cheeses, dips and spreads.

Focus on Flavour, Variety and Texture

Selecting the right cheese for your board doesn't need to be difficult - in fact, the rule of thumb is to pick what you like. Choose one (or more) from each group for different textures and flavours on your board and to create intriguing visual interest on the board. If you're trying to determine how much to buy, assume around 40-60 grams of cheese will be consumed per person. 

Fresh and soft cheeses: Brie, Camembert, Blue, Burrata, Gorgonzola, Cream Cheese, Stracciatella, Ricotta, Mascarpone, Bocconcini, Cottage Cheese, Fresh Mozzarella, Feta, Queso Fresco, Queso Cotija, Queso Blanco, Cheese Curds, Paneer, Quark

Semi-soft cheese: Havarti, Mozzarella, Taleggio, Fontina and Halloumi

Semi-hard cheese: Cheddar, Gouda, Asiago, Provolone, Colby, Tomme, Emmental 

Hard cheese: Parmesan, Aged Gouda, Aged Cheddar and Gruyére-style

For more information on the types of cheeses and their pairings, click here.

"Wake up" your cheese...

Cheese is a living food. When you store cheese in the refrigerator (as you generally must), it enters a dormant phase or a kind of “taste stasis." To release the aromatics and experience the full flavour and texture of a cheese, it should be allowed to warm to room temperature (about 19 to 21°C) for a minimum of 20 minutes before serving. You can safely keep cheese out for about four hours.

Savour Ontario dessert board with fruit, chocolate and jams.

Fill your Board

Once you've picked your cheeses, it's time to fill your board!

Cured Meats

Add delicious local Ontario cured meat in the same way you picked your cheese - look for complimentary sweet, spicy or salty flavours. Look for about 50-150 grams per person.

Bread/Crackers

Add a variety of crackers, a fresh thinly cut baguette or artisanal bread to serve alongside your selection.

Condiments

The extras like jam, pickles, olives, fruit (grapes, figs, peaches, pears are a good choice) that add another layer of flavour to your board, as well as pop of colour. You can also add surprises like local chocolate of honey to add another layer of flavour and texture to your board.

A charcuterie board is filled with local Ontario cheeses and sits next to a glass of rose.

Arranging your Board

When arranging your board think of how you and your guests will interact with the board. Little bowls with jams and dips may make sense around the perimetre of the board (to avoid dips and spills). Layer in meats around the board to allow separation. Let the cheese show off!  Don't cut all the cheese into neat squares. Take a wedge and showcase the rough edges, let the cheese crumble, cut long or thin slices to create texture on your board.

Click here to read more about how to prepare different cheeses.

Board Inspiration

Two wooden bento boxes containing various types of artisanal cheese, fruits, and vegetables.

Artisan Cheese Bento Boxes

Quick & Easy
A wooden board on a marble surface containing various types of artisanal cheeses and in season summer fruits.

Ontario Cheese & Summer Fruit Cheese Board

Quick & Easy
 Clock Icon 10 MIN
Overhead view of a wooden board with various Ontario Artisanal Cheeses.

Discover Ontario Cheese: Experience the Art of Local

author icon
Apr 25
An overhead view of a cheeseboard featuring different cheese from processors across Ontario.

Discover Ontario Cheese Board

Everyday Delicious
Overhead view of a round, white marble serving board with an assortment of cheese, fruit, and condiments for a charcuterie board next to a black and white checkered napkin.

Beyond Cheese & Charcuterie: Unique Pairing Ideas to Level Up Your Cheese Board

author icon Savour Ontario Kitchen
Feb 16
A rectangular, wooden board with assorted artisanal cheeses and meats, the board is on top of a light green napkin.

Valentine's Day Cheese Board

Inspired
 Clock Icon 25 min
Two wooden bento boxes containing various types of artisanal cheese, fruits, and vegetables.

Artisan Cheese Bento Boxes

Quick & Easy
A wooden board on a marble surface containing various types of artisanal cheeses and in season summer fruits.

Ontario Cheese & Summer Fruit Cheese Board

Quick & Easy
 Clock Icon 10 MIN
Overhead view of a wooden board with various Ontario Artisanal Cheeses.

Discover Ontario Cheese: Experience the Art of Local

author icon
Apr 25
An overhead view of a cheeseboard featuring different cheese from processors across Ontario.

Discover Ontario Cheese Board

Everyday Delicious
Overhead view of a round, white marble serving board with an assortment of cheese, fruit, and condiments for a charcuterie board next to a black and white checkered napkin.

Beyond Cheese & Charcuterie: Unique Pairing Ideas to Level Up Your Cheese Board

author icon Savour Ontario Kitchen
Feb 16
A rectangular, wooden board with assorted artisanal cheeses and meats, the board is on top of a light green napkin.

Valentine's Day Cheese Board

Inspired
 Clock Icon 25 min
Overhead view of three bamboo cones filled with artisanal cheeses, gherkin pickles, currants, honeycomb, and cured meats.

Ontario Local Cheese & Charcuterie

author icon Savour Ontario Kitchen
Jan 18
Metal Skewers on a round living edge wood board with sliced meats, cubed cheese, and bread pieces.

Wood Fire Charcuterie Skewers

Quick & Easy
 Clock Icon 23 mins
Overhead view of a cheese board with various types of artisanal cheeses, meats, and jelly and mustard spread.

New Year’s Eve Celebration Board: Ontario Cheese & Charcuterie

Inspired
Afrim Pristine holding a wedge of cheese with multiple cheese cuts and wedges sitting on a wooden table in front of him.

Boards: One of the best ways to savour Ontario

author icon Savour Ontario Kitchen
Jul 20
Cheese wedges next to small jar of jam, grapes apple slices on wooden serving board.

Afrim Pristine: How to pair an Ontario Cheese Board in 60 seconds

author icon Afrim Pristine
Jul 16
Close up overhead shot of brunch board with a poached egg with more negative space next to board.

Deconstructed Brunch Board

Everyday Delicious
Overhead view of three bamboo cones filled with artisanal cheeses, gherkin pickles, currants, honeycomb, and cured meats.

Ontario Local Cheese & Charcuterie

author icon Savour Ontario Kitchen
Jan 18
Metal Skewers on a round living edge wood board with sliced meats, cubed cheese, and bread pieces.

Wood Fire Charcuterie Skewers

Quick & Easy
 Clock Icon 23 mins
Overhead view of a cheese board with various types of artisanal cheeses, meats, and jelly and mustard spread.

New Year’s Eve Celebration Board: Ontario Cheese & Charcuterie

Inspired
Afrim Pristine holding a wedge of cheese with multiple cheese cuts and wedges sitting on a wooden table in front of him.

Boards: One of the best ways to savour Ontario

author icon Savour Ontario Kitchen
Jul 20
Cheese wedges next to small jar of jam, grapes apple slices on wooden serving board.

Afrim Pristine: How to pair an Ontario Cheese Board in 60 seconds

author icon Afrim Pristine
Jul 16
Close up overhead shot of brunch board with a poached egg with more negative space next to board.

Deconstructed Brunch Board

Everyday Delicious

Watch now!

Overlay image Video play icon

Create your own artisanal Ontario cheeseboard in 60 seconds flat!