Use Nut Butter To Elevate Your Next Charcuterie Board

Boards have been all the rage, especially since the pandemic, notes Food Business News. With an "Instagrammable" quality, they're both stunning and mouthwatering. While they act as a perfect canvas for just about any snacking theme, you could dream of — think: chocolate or even pickle boards — it's the classic charcuterie board that continues to entice hungry grazers. But, let's face it, sometimes even the tried-and-true needs a bit of revamping. Cue nut butter. One the easiest ways to add a bit of diversity and elevate your next charcuterie board, nut butter is a game changer.

According to Serious Eats, Charcuterie is a term that dates back to 15th century France and refers to the preparation of meats through curing, slow cooking, and the like. However, the word is now synonymous with boards laden with jambon and saucisson, cheeses, bread, vegetables, fruits, and spreads. As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life, and maybe that's what makes charcuterie boards so appealing. 

That said, a good board has an assortment of flavors and textures. Of the main food textures (crunchy, creamy, and chewy), The Guardian explains foods with a bit of bite are especially welcomed as we have an intrinsic need to chew. This is why nut butter, which offers some crunch, can be a great addition amidst creamy cheeses and smooth slices of salumi.

Tasty and textural

There's a whole world of nut butters beyond peanut butter. Pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, chestnuts, macadamias, and pine nuts can all be made by blending nuts with water to create a slightly sticky, kind of crunchy paste, notes MasterClass. Infusing all the nutritional benefits of nuts, these spreads can give your charcuterie board a major makeover. 

According to Martha Stewart, swapping nuts for nut butters is a great way to maintain taste, but add a pop of textural (and visual) diversity to your charcuterie board. Simply replace nuts with their buttered equivalent, paying attention to complimentary flavors as you build your board. 

Not sure where to start? Life in Asia recommends pairing buttery alpine cheeses like Gruyère or Comté with mild cashew butters. As for sharper cheeses, Culture Cheese Magazine suggests matching peanut butter with cheddar, or almond butter with Manchego, even walnut butter and goat cheese can create quite the dynamic duo.

Dried fruits like apricots, cherries, and figs can also be a great option to pair with nut butters, in addition to an array of chocolates and even salumi — think mortadella with pistachio butter or prosciutto with hazelnuts (via Wine Pass Italy). Whatever way you decide to dress up your crostini, don't forget to spread on the nut butter!