It happens all the time. You’re hosting people, or heading over to someone’s house, and you have no idea what dish to bring. A lot of times, people assume the best presentation is something that shows an effort. That might mean making a dip, baking some sort of casserole, or an entire entree altogether. Honestly, save yourself the work. Sure, you want to make a great impression, but there is a tried and true shareable that everyone loves: charcuterie boards. If you’re looking for an impressive appetizer to serve at a party or something great to take to a friend’s place, look no further. Make sure to include these three keys to create a great charcuterie board that no one can say no to!

Fruits Should Always Be Seasonal

Make sure whenever you’re preparing the charcuterie board, you’re using fresh, in-season fruits. These are going to taste the best and make sure everything on your board tastes as great as it’s going to look.

Keep Color in Mind

Fruits are a great way to bring color into the picture. With slices of bread, meats, and cheeses all in the same bland sort of color palette, fruit pops. Be sure to utilize reds, greens, and blues to break up the same boring colors!

Pair Meats and Cheeses Creatively

A lot of rushed charcuterie might look like something you’d throw out while watching a football game, but choosing meats and cheeses is more meaningful when you’re doing it creatively. Genoa salami and pancetta are wonderfully paired with gruyere and English blue cheese. The goal is to create flavors that would make someone feel satisfied without filling up. That means cheeses should be bold to hit every sense of the taste buds, but meats should be filling and flavorful as well.

Presentation is Huge

There are few things that make a well-equipped charcuterie fall flat than poor presentation. The key is to always sort things well, including a good buffer visually between lighter foods like fruit and the denser features like bread. Once they try it, the flavors do the work for you.

Keep Flow in Mind

If you’re setting up your board in a buffet style food lineup, be sure to keep the flow of traffic in mind. With charcuterie, you want the presentation to entice everyone into grabbing some for their plate. Featuring bread on one side with meats and fruits on the end allows for seamless grab and go style plate filling. Making it look good is a big part of the experience.

Need a trusty appetizer? Follow these three keys to a great charcuterie board for your next get together or dinner party!