Hi Friends! I’m Natalie Mason. I live in Charleston, SC and I am mom to Sterling 12 , Frances Moon 8 and our mini golden doodle Dolly.



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Creating The Perfect Cheese Board

Jul 24, 2018

I get so many messages asking me how to create the perfect Charcuterie Board.  Honestly not much makes me happier than a good charcuterie spread with wine. I try to always keep some meat, cheese, and crackers on hand for last minute entertaining.   I usually like to do 2 meats, 3 cheeses and then some extras like pickled veggies and spreads.  The key is to pile your board full with lots of different options.  i think that just makes for a pretty presentation with so many colors and textures.  I made a list of a all my favorites. I am also including pictures of recent cheese boards for ideas!

O N E | M E A T S

A few of my go to meats are listed below.   I will say I like to have the meat cut at the deli counter, it always tastes better to me especially in the case of salami and prosciutto.


Truffled Salami

Pepperoni- I love the Olli brand carried at Earthfare and Whole Foods- you can also buy a 4 pack sampler HERE on Amazon


Hard Salami

Peppered Salami – I buy this at Trader Joe’s

T W O | C H E E S E S

I like to do a hard, semi-soft and soft option.  Trader Joe’s is a great place to buy cheese they have a good selection and their prices are good!  Locals I also love Goat Sheep Cow to pick up cheese for special events.

Hard cheeses 




Aged Gouda




Trader Joe’s Peppered and Chipotle Cheddar Cheeses are are really good

Semi Soft Cheeses





Port Salut

Soft Cheeses


Blue Cheese



anything that says triple cream, usually the round cheeses


St. Andre ( my favorite)

T H R E E | C R A C K E R S 

I like to serve 2 different cracker types.

These are a few favorites but Trader Joe’s has some great options too.

365 degrees (super thin)

Rustic Bakery Flatbread

Raincoast Crisps (these are salty date and almond crackers) Keep en eye out at TJmaxx and Whole Foods they often get similar crackers in and they are $3 as opposed to $8+ .  The brand is Kiwi and they come in a few flavors.

Milton’s Gluten free crackers – these are amazing I love all the flavors , so light and crispy.  The sea salt is probably my favorite.

F O U R | S P R E A D S

I like to serve at least one spread whether it be hummus, or a jam for the cheese.  A few of my go-to’s are:

hummus any flavor – drizzle with olive oil and add pine nuts (Roots is a favorite brand) .  I also have really been loving the Lantana Cauliflower and Carrot hummus options.

fig preserves

Trader Joes sweet and spicy chili jam

pepper jelly

bacon jam (pairs great with pimento cheese)

truffled mustard (great with meats)

Pimento Cheese- I love Callie’s and My 3 Son’s Brands

F I V E | E X T R A S

I usually like to do a pickled veggie or olive here.


pickled okra

baby gherkins

salted marcona almonds

pitted dates

dried figs

dried cherries or cranberries

candied walnuts – I am newly obsessed with all the Sahale nuts, these are 3 favorites on Amazon HERE but most grocery stores carry them too.

pickled asparagus, green beans, or carrots

cheese straws

sliced apples- fuji and honey crisp are my favorites

Now for a few examples of recent charcuterie boards  I put together.

Fuji apples, raisin crackers, St Andre cheese, dried cherries, salami, white cheddar, rustic flatbread crackers, peppered salami, cucumbers, olives, carrot hummus, pimento cheese.

CHARCUTERIE BOARD– peppered salami + aged gouda cheese + maple nuts (see below for pic) + Manchego cheese + raisin seed crackers + prosciutto + St. Andre cheese + TJ Parmesan crisps + honey crisp apples

In the bowls- fig jelly, olives, and pickled okra

Endive, pretzels, Genova Salami, grapes, blue cheese, calabrese salami, aged gouda, flax crackers, and St Andre cheese.  In the middle is hummus + olive oil and everything but the bagel seasoning, olive tapenade, and baby pickles.

Grapes + Raisin Crackers + St Andre + Pepperoni +  Aged Cheddar + Salami + Dill Havarti + Pretzel Thins + Pickled Green Beans + Boursin Cheese Spread

Burrata + Prosciutto + Roasted Asparagus + cherry tomatoes + good bread drizzled with olive oil + pesto

Homemade pita chips + Manchego + salami + white cheddar + raisin crackers + gouda + pepperoni + pepperoncinis + grapes

Aged Gouda, salami + ritz thin crackers + Fuji Apples + Brie + Raisin Crackers + Manchego + Salami + Pickled okra + Kalamata olives

Chorizo + Sea Salt Rustic Flatbread Crackers + Marcona Almonds + hummus + Dried Cherries + White Cheddar + Salami + Pickled Okra + Prosciutto + Manchego + French Brie

Dried Figs + Salami + White Cheddar +  Salami + Mango Jalapeno Crisps (found at Publix) + Fuji apples

I love small serving bowls for platters and this is such a great set.  I love that it comes with little spoons.

Bowl Set

Large Cheese Board- I also really like this large cheese board on sale for under $35

Marble Board– this is a nice circle option in lots of finishes.

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Leave a Reply

  1. Jan says:

    Love this! And I also am obsessed with the sriracha carrot hummus! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Colleen says:

    Yessss!!!! Love this post and love a good charcuterie board!

  3. Deanna says:

    Thank you!!!! Love this! Think I’m going to print out your suggestions to keep handy in my kitchen .

  4. Laura says:

    Love these types of posts and think you should focus more on showcasing your food prep/presentation skills on your blog vs. the endless dressing room sessions. This is where your true talents lie!

  5. You certainly are the queen of the cheese plate!
    The Sarcastic Blonde

  6. Christie says:

    Perfection! Thanks

  7. Kathy says:

    These look fabulous! Where do you go for the raisin toasts?

  8. Wendy says:

    Whoot whoot! Fantastic looking meat and cheese boards. Pinning= Winning.

  9. Jenn says:

    Absolutely LOVE this post Natalie! Please do more like this please!

  10. Ann says:

    I love charcuterie boards and yours are always so beautifully done. You think of really interesting combinations too!! Thank you so much for the ideas and tips!!