Whether it’s the prelude to a meal or the meal itself, charcuterie—essentially, a selection of cured and prepared meats—is as flexible as it is delicious. There’s no right or wrong combination. Just take Publican Prime Meat’s Missy Corey’s advice: Mix textures and flavors, balancing firm with soft, mild with spicy or smoky.

Charcuterie is at heart a casual treat, so serve it family-style on a rustic board or earthenware platter, with everything pre-sliced for easy serving.

Start with the luscious texture and earthy flavor of terine or pate.

Add a salty cured meat like proscuitto or spanish jamon serrano.

Head cheese lends a bold note.  Acidic olives and pickles cut the richness of the meat.

Finish with a hint of heat: A hot sausage or a spicy pepper sauce for spreading on bread.


BREAD | Choose something firm enough to spread on, like a sourdough or rye.

MUSTARD | Try two: a Dijon and a whole-grain mustard for contrast.

PICKLES | Cornichons are a classic choice, or serve bread- and-butter pickles.

JAM | Stay away from anything too sweet. Apricot, fig, cherry, or raspberry are perfect.

Our Experts

Chris Carter and James Peisker, Butchers, Porter Road Butcher, Nashville, TN;

Hang Cordier, Olivier’s Butchery, San Francisco, CA;

Missy Corey, sous chef, Publican Quality Meats, Chicago, IL;