Who doesn't love a good charcuterie board? Typically made with a selection of cured meats, cheeses, crackers, and other small and tasty bites, they can be customized in so many ways and are an ideal appetizer or snack (or even a full meal) when entertaining. In recent years, various trends, especially on social media, have also really pushed the envelope on what makes a charcuterie board with various spin-off boards focused around everything from butter and breakfast items to salsa and sushi.
If you want to get back to basics, but with an easy upgrade, then it's time to turn your attention to an often-overlooked element on many boards — the crackers, especially if your go-to is some water crackers and maybe some butter crackers. The meats and cheeses may be the star of most charcuterie boards, but to really let them shine, stock your board with a variety of crackers that complement their flavors and textures. Variety is a key part of a good charcuterie board, and that applies to crackers as well.
Different Kinds Of Variety
When it comes to flavors, crackers typically have a supporting role to the starring cheeses, meats, or both. What kinds of crackers to add will depend in part on what other flavors you have on the board. There's a reason why water crackers are a standard option on charcuterie boards, since their neutral flavor goes well with just about everything, but especially strong cheeses. Try adding sea salt crackers for something with a little more flavor. A buttery cracker or a pretzel cracker will provide a nice contrast to sharp cheeses. Multigrain crackers are also popular, and ideal for spreadable soft cheeses or aged cheeses. Mild and smooth goat cheeses will go well with more flavorful and savory crackers, or even one made with bacon fat, while stinky cheeses will go well with sweeter crackers or crackers with some fruit incorporated in them.
Texture-wise, you want some crackers that are thin and crispy but also ones that are sturdier and more substantial. Also consider adding crackers in a variety of different sizes and shapes for visual interest. Besides the standard square or round crackers, add some pretzel crackers, rustic or artisanal crackers, thin flatbread-like crackers, or breadsticks. During the holiday season, you can even incorporate crackers in fun shapes.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.