Family Features

Stick to the basics this holiday season to create a perfect charcuterie board:

• The board: Select a board big enough for your gathering but not too big as you want there to be overlap and crowding.

• The cheeses: Select three different cheeses that complement the other items. Brie is a solid soft cheese choice while blue fills the need for a stronger, more pungent cheese. Try an aged cheddar or smoky gouda to round out the trio.

• The meats: Something salty with a little fat, like prosciutto or speck, provides a flavorful addition to the board.

• The produce: Choose fruits that not only taste great, but are also beautiful to display such as Envy apple slices, which stay whiter longer, making them ideal for any entertaining occasion. Plus their balanced sweetness pairs well with any item on the board.

• The crackers: Variety is key with crackers, and like the cheeses, three types is typically the magic formula. Think water crackers, multi-grain wafers and breadsticks.

• The snacks: Sweet and salty are king when it comes to snacks, so a mix of chocolate and nuts works for many charcuterie boards.