Charcuterie board: an upgrade to a traditional relish tray

It's time to upgrade the traditional at-home appetizer from a relish tray to a charcuterie board.

Written BY

Elizabeth Merchut

Appetizer OCD

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May 4, 2022

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What is a relish tray?

Relish tray ideas

Whenever my family gets together, there’s always one appetizer out on the counter before dinner: a relish tray. My grandma’s relish tray usually consists of chopped up veggies like celery, carrots, black olives, green olives, broccoli, and cauliflower. In the middle of the tray, there was always a veggie dip. Year after year, she placed everything in a serving tray similar to this one.

Meet the Modern Charcuterie Board

When we entertain at my house, we never put out a relish tray. Instead, we always put together a charcuterie board. (Don't know how to pronounce charcuterie? Learn how by clicking here.) Occasionally I do include raw veggies or olives in a ramekin on the board, but the heart of the modern charcuterie board is in the meats and cheeses selected for the board.

For the cheeses, I’ll usually pick out three different types. I make sure I get at least one hard cheese and one soft cheese, and then whatever piques my interest for a third. I’ll then select at least two cured meats: my go-to is prosciutto and a salami.

Relish tray ideas

More Upgrades to the Relish Tray:

For the rest of the board, I mix it up with what types of foods I add in. I’ve done different combinations of the following foods:

·   Dried fruit like mango, apricots, or cranberries

·   Nuts like pistachios, walnuts, or pecans

·   Sauces like jam or honey

·   Fruits like grapes or berries

·   Black or green olives

·   A variety of crackers

Making a modern charcuterie board instead of a relish tray is a fun twist on the traditional appetizer! It’s always a hit with our guests, as there’s enough variety on the board for everyone to find something that they like. I also love that no two boards are identical – by mixing it up with so many options for meats, cheeses, and other snack foods on a board, each board is unique in flavor and texture.

For more inspiration on building charcuterie boards, check out our Aldi charcuterie board blog.

Further Reading
Charcuterie Definition: What is Charcuterie Really?
The definition of charcuterie actually has quite the historical timeline, even though the term has become extremely trendy as of recently. Essentially, the charcuterie board isn’t new, it’s a modern spin on a very traditional and historically rich way of sharing a meal.
January 21, 2023
The Best Options for an Oak Charcuterie Board
Oak is a beautiful wood choice! That’s why an oak charcuterie board is a gorgeous base for styling meats, cheese, or even desserts.
December 16, 2022