The classic charcuterie board consists largely of a selection of gourmet meats and cheeses, as well as a variety of fruits and breads or crackers (and maybe sauces). Its brilliant colors and mouth-watering flavors make it a natural centerpiece for the party table.
If you’re having a party and you’re trying to figure out how to price charcuterie boards, you’ll need to take into account the types of ingredients you use to make them.
The charcuterie board’s cost also depends on the number of people multiplied by the board’s contents.
How to Price Charcuterie Boards for a Party?
The short answer to this question is, how much a charcuterie board costs depends on the types (and quality) of ingredients you choose for the board.
That said, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 per board (or more) if you buy one from the local deli. However, it may feed very few people.
This means you must either buy additional boards to accommodate all the guests at your party, or you must make the charcuterie boards yourself.
Although the second option can also cost a bit of money if you have invited a large number of people to your party, it’ll still cost less to do it yourself, rather than have the deli make it.
How Much Is a Charcuterie Board for 30 People?
To answer this, you must first know how many people a standard board will feed. You can expect a 15-inch board to feed around 12 people.
Another average you should know is this: Most people will eat three or four ounces of cheese from the board and about two ounces of meat.
This basically means you’d need at least two 15-inch charcuterie boards, plus one that equals about seven or eight inches to feed 30 guests at your party.
Given that some people will eat more than the minimally-expected amount, you may want to have at least three 15-inch charcuterie boards, or possibly four, if you are serving only appetizers and not dinner.
More to the point: Budget chefs, if they know how to shop correctly, can put together a single board for about $30, according to The Penny Hoarder.
If you buy ingredients for at least three boards, you’re looking at $90 to feed 30 people. For ingredients for four boards, you’ll pay around $120.
What Does a Charcuterie Board Include?
As we mentioned, you can fill your charcuterie boards with a variety of meats and cheeses. You can even find vegetarian and vegan boards that substitute vegetables, fruits, nuts, and vegan meats for the “real thing.”
However, for the main purposes of this article, we will assume that you’d like to create a more traditional board. For this board, The Knot recommends that charcuterie makers include a variety of cheeses, meats, fruits and vegetables, dips, something with a crunch, and some garnishes.
We would also suggest some different types of breads for your board as well.
- For cheeses, you could try: brie, feta, gorgonzola, fontina, Swiss, cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, and Asiago.
- For meats, go with: salami, prosciutto, ham, soppressata, mortadella, and calabrese. Some charcuterie fans also enjoy pates.
- For produce, include these items: grapes, sliced strawberries, apple slices, pineapple wedges, kiwis, dates, dried apricots, pickles, tomatoes, cucumbers, a variety of peppers, and olives.
- For the dips, go with: spinach dip, hummus, dill dip, honey mustard, and caramel or sweetened cream cheese (for the fruits).
- For something crunchy, add: crackers, dried baguette and bagel slices, almonds, and walnuts.
- For breads, you could try: pumpernickel, rye, wheat, gourmet rolls, and sweet breads, like pumpkin.
- For garnishes, try something simple: mint leaves, basil leaves, lemon or orange twists, or edible flowers for some color.
It’s worth remembering that when charcuterie came into existence, there was no modern refrigeration. Curing meat was one way to preserve meat, which is why charcuterie platters include so many kinds of cured meats.
Back then, various ways existed to keep meat from going bad, including immersing the meat in salt or butter. Smoked meat was also popular for the same reason.
What Is a Charcuterie Board?
According to Serious Eats, “charcuterie” is a French word that comes from combining the French words “chair” with “cuit,” which mean “flesh” and “cooked,” respectively. Charcuterie has been popular in France since the 15th century.
Additionally, although many cultures have some version of cured meats, the French are particularly noted for it. This has to do with how French chefs view the process as a whole.
They use gourmet meat cuts that are popular in their region of France, along with an excellent assortment of cheeses, nuts, and other quality ingredients.
The process for them starts and ends with the finest quality ingredients French gourmands can find, preferably in their local areas.
This is why it’s now common to find so many different kinds of ingredients on a charcuterie plate, depending on where you go in France.
Knowing this gives you some creative leeway for creating your charcuterie board, which can help you as you try to answer the question: “How much do you spend on a charcuterie board?”
FAQs about How To Price Charcuterie Boards
What other items can I put on a charcuterie board?
If you want to make a board that really stands out, try adding ingredients like truffles, chocolate-covered almonds, and chocolate dip. If you’re trying to figure out how to price charcuterie boards, you’ll need to figure out your base price and then make an estimate if you add these sweet additions.
What goes on a vegetarian/ vegan board?
You can start with many of the items that we have already on this list, minus the meats. If you really want the taste of meat, try substituting plant-based meats. You’ll find those in the vegan deli section of the grocery store. For color and variety, add in more vegetables and fruits, like artichokes, sundried tomatoes, celery sticks, berries, and more nut varieties.
Can I make my charcuterie board before the party?
Yes, you can. You’ll want to arrange all of the ingredients on the board, minus the breads and crackers because they could get soggy overnight. Wrap the pre-assembled board very well with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
On the day of the party, take the board/s out 30 to 45 minutes ahead of the party. At that time, add your breads and crackers to the boards. For freshness’s sake, it’s best to make your charcuterie boards 24 hours or less before your party.