You Should Add Brie Butter To Your Next Charcuterie Board

Grazing isn't just for cows. (Corny but true.) It's an elevated way of snacking — and of dining. Many of the most prestigious fine-dining establishments in the world have earned their Michelin stars by presenting guests with tiny samples of different foods. And in January, Mondelēz International published the findings of its annual State of Snacking report, which found that 55% of people are regularly replacing meals with snacks.

It looks like 2023 may very well be the Year of Grazing — a practice that works especially well when the snack is filling, well-rounded, and leaves room for home cook creativity. Enter: the charcuterie board. Actually, the phrase "grand entrance" might be more fitting. Search "#charcuterieboard" on Instagram and you'll see a whopping 2.2 million posts with photos of elaborate spreads. 

As any experienced or even novice culinary carpenter knows, building a charcuterie board is all about showcasing flavors that will pair well together and keeping it texturally interesting. We're talking cheese, meats, crackers, nuts, jams, spreads — you name it. Wow us. Keep it fresh and varied. Maybe you'll even become internet-famous.

TikTok's "butter board" trend ushered in a tidal wave of compound butter fans. Today, we're talking about one particular cheesy compound butter that'll take your charcuterie board to the next level. It's time to whip out the brie.

Lay it on thick, we dare you

Brie is a pungent French cheese that is usually made from cow's milk. Inside its tough white rind is a creamy, runny interior with an earthy, buttery, and slightly fruity flavor. Maybe you've even seen charcuterie boards with a circle of melty, honey-drizzled baked brie before. Soft-ripened brie boasts a very complex profile in both flavor and texture. That's what makes the cheese perfect for transforming into a compound butter.

To do it, simply combine equal parts butter and brie — that's it. Soften both ingredients to room temperature, remove the cheese rind, and then toss the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. The strong notes from the cheese will be diluted by the butter's naturally mild, creamy flavor, resulting in a spread that's sure to wow dinner party guests.

To serve, spread that brie butter on fig crackers, which complement the pungent cheese instead of competing with it. An acidic fruit pairing would work well here too — spread brie butter on green apple slices or sliced Anjou pears.

Giada De Laurentiis swears by fig jam with Calabrian chilis for her charcuterie boards; a slather of the sweet-spicy jam could take mild brie butter up a notch. Salty prosciutto, fermented soppressata, and sweet, nutty almonds would round out the savory end of the board. If you want to add other cheeses, opt for a firm and a semi-soft variety, such as Manchego and Fontina.