The One Trick To Make Sure Your Guests Eat Your Cheese Board

Charcuterie board
Charcuterie board - New Africa/Shutterstock

Whether you're hosting five close friends or fifty new ones, a charcuterie board full of various meats and cheeses has been a reliable go-to party spread for years. A charcuterie board allows guests with all different types of food preferences and dietary restrictions to graze on only what they want -- your vegetarian friend might stick to the soft cheeses while your carnivorous bestie makes themselves at home amongst the cured meat. But there are cases where you assemble a board perfectly, yet no one touches it.

One of the biggest charcuterie board mistakes that all hosts hope to avoid is crafting a board that guests don't end up eating, especially after you have spent so much time (and presumably, quite a bit of money) assembling an Insta-worthy spread. While finding the proper placement for each finger food is important to crafting an appetizing spread, a board that looks too good to eat might actually go untouched by partygoers. Presentation is an important element of crafting an appetizing charcuterie board, but food psychologists have found that there is a balance between a fancy yet edible board and a board that looks more like decoration. If you really want to send a message to your guests that they can dig in, have a bite or two yourself before they arrive.

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Your Board Shouldn't Be Picture Perfect When Guests Arrive

person sets charcuterie board onto table
person sets charcuterie board onto table - Alvarez/Getty Images

When you are designing your charcuterie board, organization is key. But once you have decided where each cheese slice and edible flower should lay atop your wooden board, don't be afraid to get a little messy in order to make it clear to your guests that they should be snacking on this tasty display. Assembling your cured meats to resemble a salami "rose" will definitely up your board's visual appeal, but your guests will likely feel hesitant deconstructing all your hard work in order to eat a slice or two.

Of course, you could always encourage guests to snap a quick photo and then dig in, but a great dinner party is all in the small details that make guests feel effortlessly at home. You don't want to be two hours into your party and realize that people were worried about ruining the aesthetic of your extra-fancy cheese board. The best way to get guests to eat your cheese board is to lead by example. Immortalize your hard work before your guests arrive by snapping a pic for your Instagram story, then cut into the wheel of brie and ruffle up your river of prosciutto so guests know it's okay to enjoy.

Make Sure The Foods On Your Board Taste As Appetizing As They Look

Charcuterie board
Charcuterie board - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Before digging into your charcuterie board and enjoying the fruits of your labor, make sure that the items in your spread are worth nibbling on. Purchasing all the accouterments for a charcuterie board is not a cheap endeavor -- the only thing worse than spending a pretty penny on foods that look too fancy is food that no one actually likes.

Finding unique charcuterie board ingredients to display on your board is a great way to craft a visual marvel out of snack foods, but how likely are your guests to chow down on dried figs and sprigs of herbs? While analyzing the sociological complexities of charcuterie boards, Psychology Today found that "foods that you can't imagine eating at the same time are juxtaposed for the sake of creating a visually appealing board." Most charcuterie aficionados believe that there should always be a balance of fan favorites like meat and cheese with more aesthetically charming foods like shelled nuts and fancy spreads. There is no doubt that this mindset creates beautiful boards, but not everything displayed is actually something that guests want to eat. A cheese board with far too many choices can also be a touch overwhelming to some guests, so it's in your best interest to simplify wherever you can to eliminate overly complex boards full of fancy foods that your guests will pass over. And don't forget to dig in first to pave the way for others.

Read the original article on Daily Meal