Start with the Meats
Choose a variety of cured meats ranging from finnocchiona, hot and mild soppressata, prosciutto de Parma, and speck. Your Hy-Vee butcher will be able to help you decide how much of each one to buy. As a general rule of thumb, plan on 2 to 3 ounces of meat per person for an appetizer party.
Just Add Cheese
If you're sticking with a traditional Italian theme, select some of Italy's world renowned cheeses—Parmigiano Reggiano, Asiago, Provolone, Aged Gorgonzola, or Fresh Mozzarella. If you’re not sure, your Hy-Vee cheesemonger will be able to guide you through the selection process (and offer tasty samples).
Adding jams, fresh or dried fruits, and different selections of honey to your board will brighten the appearance of the platter and allow guests to create their own sweet and savory pairings.
The Bread Base
La Mole Crosti (flavored toasted bread) or Sfornatini (thin breadsticks) imported from Italy by Hy-Vee add a can’t-get-enough crunch while serving as edible vessels for meats, cheeses, and dips. You can even pre-wrap several thin breadsticks with thin slices of prosciutto to get things started. Grilled Pane Tuscano is also a popular bread accompaniment for charcuterie boards. Simply rub the bread with a smashed clove of garlic and drizzle with olive oil before grilling.
The Grand Garnish
Round out your board with nuts, olives, whole grain mustard, or pickled vegetables. Remember, it’s your board, so get as creative as you like. Just be sure to leave room in between items so guests can easily dig in as the cravings strike.
Pass the Vino
Light and fruity red or white wines and even Proseccos are best paired with antipastos like charcuterie, but just remember one simple rule: When it comes to wine, if you don’t like it, don’t drink it. Always select a wine you enjoy—even if it isn’t the classic pairing.