“Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” – Those famous words from Shakespeare’s Macbeth begin to sound in my head the moment the clock strikes midnight on October 1st each year. While you won’t find my family conjuring spells or channeling the dead to celebrate Halloween, you will find us enjoying the commercial side of this time of year by picking out fun costumes, filling our buckets with candy and enjoying a laugh with friends and family as we try to give each other a good scare every now and then.
Our collection of Halloween decor has grown larger over the years, as my oldest daughter squeals with delight at the sight of a jack o’ lantern, fake spiders and spooky black cats. Seeing her get excited over simple things like this make me all the more eager to get into the Halloween spirit, and what better way to do that than to celebrate with the ultimate Halloween charcuterie board!
Charcuterie boards (pronounced shar-koo-tuh-ree,) and commonly referred to as a “cheese board” is the simple concept of preparing and displaying a variety of cured meats, cheeses, fruits and nuts that all compliment each other. A charcuterie board is ideal for parties and events where people can casually graze over the selection of snacks and food pairings.
Because so many people associate Halloween with candy, I thought it would be fun to prepare a Halloween charcuterie board to show several ideas that are both kid and adult friendly to serve at a Halloween party or gathering that don’t utilize candy. When making my food selections, I tried to think of cheeses, meats, fruits and nuts that had a lot of texture that could look a little bit creepy–ish sitting out on a platter.
If you’re preparing a hauntingly fun charcuterie board this year, here are a few ideas to help get you started:
Cheeses – I opted for a marbled blue cheese as well as a cheese ball that was more orange in color. Pair your cheese selections with a variety of chips or crackers for easy serving. I also included a red colored pepper jelly to serve with the cheese.
Meats – While it’s not completely necessary to use cured meats, it is common practice to use a variety of shelf stable meats in a charcuterie board. I opted for pepperoni to give a pop of red color to the board, and I also used beef jerky. Salami or summer sausage would also be a great choice in a Halloween charcuterie board.
Fruits and Vegetables – Having a variety of both fresh and dried fruits is a great idea when preparing a charcuterie board. For fresh fruit options, I chose darker colored grapes, blackberries, blueberries, black olives, a peeled orange and rambutan. For dried fruits, dried apricots, raisins, and dried cherries or cranberries are great picks. I also snuck in a few gherkin pickles and carrot sticks for another pop of orange color.
Chips/Salty Snacks – There are a lot of great options for this category that would match the Halloween theme perfectly. I chose blue tortilla chips, pretzel sticks, cheese curls and Bugles. You can also add in cheese balls or puffs!
If you’re making party preparations this Halloween season and are looking for the perfect thing to serve that doesn’t involve candy, get those creative juices flowing and make your own Halloween charcuterie board! The possibilities are endless on what you can add to them, and there’s no wrong way to do it! Happy munching!