Getting hungry? Charcuterie gifts continue to trend, so it’s the perfect time to build a board with your clients, employees, friends, family and event attendees for work, play or that magical space in between. These delicious gifts put the fun in functional by creating an interactive experience that grabs your recipients’ attention along with all their other senses.

Food is powerful because it creates a multi-sensory experience. You eat with your eyes first as you take in the delicious scene in front of you. Then you breathe in the savory aromas, which make your mouth water.  As you surrender to the first bite, your taste buds explore a symphony of flavors while you feel the texture of the food and hear the enticing sounds it makes.

This simultaneous activation of all your senses and the corresponding pleasant chemical impact on your brain is why food experiences help you make memories, and it all starts with taste. Taste memories tend to be the strongest of the associative memories you can make¹, and your taste buds take center stage during a food experience. These memories create nostalgia because they involve so much context—the unboxing, the explosion of flavors and the overall experience.

Ready to build your board? Good news! The art of charcuterie continues to evolve to include different taste sensations, so there’s something for everyone. Whatever your tastes, let’s dive in.

How do you charcuterie?  

Traditional with a Twist

Charcuterie (pronounced ‘shahr-koo-tuh–ree’) is a French term for preparing cured meats which stems from the 15th century. While our beef summer sausage is divine, this popular practice has expanded to include other delicious tastes and flavors, even on a traditional board.

As passionate foodies, we’ve devoted ourselves to understanding the art of charcuterie, so we can help you deliver experiences to remember. Building a board? Keep these basics in mind:

? Plan on 2 oz. of meat per person (or more!)
? Vary textures (pleasing to the eye and palate)
? Incorporate different flavors of meats
? Get cheesy!
? Don't forget the carbs!
? Adding something acidic, crunchy or sweet will round things out
♨️ Try adding something warm for variety
? Fresh fruits and veggies bring a fresh perspective
? Finishing touches make all the difference
? Don't forget the wine!

Of course, these are just the basics. Don't limit yourself! Learn more about creating a charcuterie experience to remember by watching our on-demand presentation.

Tasty Team Building FTW

Looking for a tasty team-building exercise your employees will love? Build charcuterie boards together!

  1. Partner up or choose teams, so you can work together and build camaraderie. This activity is fun for individuals too, so it works well for small companies, remote employees and virtual event attendees.
  2. Create a theme. Celebrate a holiday or special milestone for your company, or come up with a fun theme your team will love.
  3. Ready, set, build! Get creative building your board, and have fun deciding what flavors you'll include and how you'll arrange everything.
  4. Shine the spotlight on your team (or event attendees) by having them present their boards while taking you behind the scenes and explaining how they arrived at the result.
  5. Make it a competition by selecting winners, either overall or by category, and awarding prizes.

Now it's time to eat! Everyone wins with charcuterie because you get to dine on your delicious creation. Gather around the table (or screen) with your team to celebrate a successful activity, share upcoming plans for the company or just kick back, relax and catch up with each other. View our award-winning charcuterie gifts to get started.

A Sweet Ending

Craving a sweet treat or looking for a dessert alternative your team will love? One of our favorite charcuterie evolutions is the desserts or sweets board! You read that right; creative foodies are building boards or spreads of their favorite sweets for a spectacular dessert.

Sound like a sweet idea? Here are some decadent delights to add:

  • Cocoa dusted truffles
  • Strawberries or your favorite berries
  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Chocolate sea salt caramels
  • Cashews
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Apples and grapes
  • Dark chocolate almonds
  • Peppermint bark
  • Kettle corn

Not sure where to start? Search dessert charcuterie on Pinterest for some mouthwatering inspiration!

Meet Me at the Hot Chocolate Bar

Put a sweet spin on happy hour by setting up a mouthwatering hot cocoa or coffee bar! This is a fun way to show your appreciation to your team, welcome new employees or introduce event attendees to each other. Start with rich hot chocolate (or cocoa) or gourmet coffee and add all the toppings for a delicious experience.

Meet us at our hot chocolate bar:

  • Double Dutch hot chocolate
  • Island of Sumatra Indonesian coffee blend and Mocha Java coffee
  • Marshmallows and whipped cream
  • Chocolate sea salt caramels
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks
  • Blonde brownies
  • Candy canes
  • White chocolate chips
  • Chocolate covered pretzels

Celebrating? Add a kick to your hot cocoa with your favorite alcohol! (Pro tip: RumChata and hot chocolate just go together.) Want to share this experience with your team without all the work? Browse our bakery gifts, and let us handle the prep.

Kindness Counts: A Sweet Idea

We love paying it forward and sharing the food gift love with people who are making a difference. So many people work together to help educate our children and shape who they are. We appreciate every single one of them, including the dedicated assistants at schools who work tirelessly to ensure everything runs smoothly. They typically work behind the scenes, so they don’t often receive the recognition they deserve.

Some Mosinee Elementary School kindergarten students (and future Ridgers?) decided they wanted to show their appreciation to the assistants at their school. We helped them create a hot cocoa bar and chocolate charcuterie spread to surprise the assistants, who have made a positive impact on them. You can see the students’ Kindness Counts hot cocoa bar below. We think they did an amazing job!

How can you spread kindness by sharing the food gift love?

More Creative Charcuterie Ideas

We hope you can see that charcuterie is a delicious way to bring people together and make memories. Looking for more tasty ideas?

  • Linger over a French toast breakfast board
  • Start the show with a movie night board
  • Focus on wellness with a fruit charcuterie board
  • Include everyone with vegan, gluten-free or keto-friendly boards
  • Enjoy a s’mores charcuterie board by the campfire
  • Stay on brand with a color-themed board
  • Host a fiesta with a Mexican charcuterie board
  • Celebrate in style with a holiday-themed board
  • Get nostalgic with a candy board
  • Play with a game time board

Now it’s time to turn our fresh ideas into a charcuterie board you’ll love. The art of charcuterie has evolved to include different taste sensations, so you can build a board no matter what you’re craving. Bring your team closer together, catch up with family and friends, celebrate with clients and employees or get to know your event attendees by gathering around a charcuterie board, virtually or in-person. Cheers to mouthwatering charcuterie boards and teamwork that makes the dream work!

How do you charcuterie? What tasty tips do you want to share to help others build better boards? Let’s get social on social! Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or commonsku today.  


¹Food and Memory, Harvard University Press

Maple Ridge Farms Team