Charbowleries are version of a charcuterie board which adds depth and personality to your presentation. The French provide the best guidance to success. It's ok to add an American twist, to include the depth our Charbowleries offer. These boards are an assemblage of meat, cheese, spreads, bread, olives, dried fruit, and nuts all arranged to perfection. It is an art! Your final presentation may have a sense of effortlessness but on the contrary! Achieve the je ne sais quoi (something of appealing quality that cannot be adequately described or expressed). First, use only the best hardwood board. At Charbowlerie.com, we have you covered. 

Next. Choice your foods. Cheese. We love cheese. Always serve at least four different kinds of cheese, but at Charbowlerie.com, we prefer to serve in odd numbers. So we recommend three to five different kinds. Choose a tangy such as goat cheese or something soft and creamy like brie or camembert. Choose a hard cheese such as cheddar (several different types of cheddar flavors out there!). And then a daring cheese, such as something hot or blue.

Parmesan is always spectacular. And do not forget to add your favorites. Remember to take pictures of the cheese wrapping and note your favorites after enjoying your board. If you want to be ultimately French, add saucisson which is a dry, thick, cured sausage. It is made of pork and stuffed with nuts, cheese, and dried fruit. It'll put you over the edge. Other meats are your preference and dependent upon what pleases your palate. Ham such as prosciutto or bresaola is a delicious choice.

Next. Slice and Dice.  You most definitely do not need to slice the cheese if you rather not. Your visitors will take pleasure in choosing exactly the right portion each time. Leaving uncut also helps keep the cheese fresh. But if you do prepare your cheese, remember a few key things. Soft, round cheese like Brie will ooze so you may choose to place them solid in a bowlerie. Hard cheese can be sliced into long, thin strips or cubes.

Meat should always be prepared and thin is preferred. You enjoy the flavors when the meat is cut thin. Consider having your meat deli or butcher slice the meat for you. Saucisson is an exception. Cut this delicacy just prior to serving and slice each to 2 millimeters wide. If not, it will be uncomfortable to chew and if exposed to the air too long, it can become greasy. Pepperoni, pastrami, pancetta, and even Canadian bacon are delicious options. Meats take up the most space on your board, so consider arranging them on the board first. 

Next. The Extras. Consider seasonal items, such as fresh veggies like radishes or if summer, add beautiful small tomatoes of any color. Pickled and preserved ingredients such as olives and cornichons balance out the creaminess of cheese with their acidity. This is the reasoning for the olive boat in your Charbowlerie. A few sweets, like honey or raspberry preserves are essential. Dried figs or apricots also provide a sweet, yet tangy contrast. Other fruits and vegetables such as berries and grapes pair well and celery, carrots, and peppers can add vibrant color. Keep fruits closer to cheese on your bowlerie and vegetables closer to dips. Spreads and dips make your board the ultimate of delicious and why the bowlerie was evented. Consider raspberry preserves over cream cheese, jam, or balsamic or ranch dips.

Serving. If going for the French way, always serve with bread. Crackers do not equal French, however, we as Americans love crackers, so we won't tell. Bread such as baguette is a wonderful option but sourdough or walnut breads can add spunk. Preslice breads. If using crackers, use a variety of different tastes. Any cracker from a water crisps, club crackers, Ritz, or fancy, pepper laced crackers will do. 

Temperature. Let the board rest at least 30 minutes at room temperature prior to presenting to your guests. The flavors will be much stronger. 

And finally. Give each guest their own knife. This is a strict rule in France. This allows each guest to indulge at their own pleasure. 

Remember messy is awesome. Throw it together and present your magic.