What are your favorite cheeses, meats, and jams for an aperitivo hour board?

I know these things take time to learn but I'm trying to figure out how to mix and match. Any tips are greatly appreciated!

Christopher Churmusi


AntoniaJames August 24, 2021
One component of a good cheese and charcuterie board, which my guests always seem to like, is a good mustard. The bright flavor - especially when you add a splash of vinegar - helps cut the richness of the cheese and meats on the board.

Here's a chunky apple mustard - like a chutney really - that works well. https://food52.com/recipes/6466-apple-mustard

In this recipe, there's an easy pantry-ready chutney (made with dried fruit) that I also make for use on cheese boards. https://food52.com/recipes/30913-the-north-beach-special

Or, if you're in a hurry, just stir some good Dijon mustard into an equal amount of apricot or peach preserves - or apple or fig butter, for that matter. Add a touch of cider or wine vinegar to keep it from being too sweet.

I always put dried fruit, especially tart ones like sour cherries and apricots, on my cheese and charcuterie boards. A few nuts for crunch, and because nuts are fun to nibble, and some olives for their briny goodness, also improve any cheese and charcuterie board. ;o)
MMH October 1, 2020
Although, I really dont like Kroger, the version where I live has a really good cheese island which is staffed by a live person who I have come to know and use when I want to build a cheese board. They also have many samples and sell small portions of cheese which I might not try if I had to pony up a larger sum to try it.
Ive also found that Aldi & Trader Joe’s offer the opportunity to experiment with some great cheeses at a good price.
gandalf September 29, 2020
Here is a link to the recent Food52 article that I think Nancy was referencing: https://food52.com/blog/25607-best-fall-cheese-plate.

The Wensleydale with cranberries mentioned in that article is good. I remember once having a baked brie with a blackberry jam served over it that was quite good; or served with fig preserves on the side would work also. Stilton is a nice blue cheese to consider; Caveman Blue is another good blue cheese that I've had. If your local grocery store has a cheese section, perhaps ask the server there what s/he recommends.

i wouldn't serve crackers that have too strong of a taste, you don't want them to overpower the cheeses.

Some sliced hard salami, served with mustard on the side, would be good.
Nancy September 29, 2020
Christopher, I wrote a long chatty response, but it failed to stick when I posted it.
Basically, there are guidelines or even rules for building, but - as with wine - the learning is a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it.
My preferences (or anyone's here) might not be yours.
So start buying and plating...
Some say, have at least 3 cheeses and one type of each.
Some say, buy seasonally (different in fall and spring, etc.),
Bread, crackers, nuts, fruit (dried, fresh &/or chutney).
Wine or beer to taste.
More ideas from:
1) A member here, Phil, who does lovely, generous, hearty boards of cheese and charcuterie. Maybe some posts are findable.
2) Articles here...one a few days ago...give tips.
3) wine blogs and buying services often have articles and live tastings with cheese (and meats).
4) a web search will get you pix, videos and articles.
Nancy October 1, 2020
Last, here's a guideline to an easy cheese & charcuterie board, for starters.
Recommended by Food52