How to Make a Showstopping Farmers Market Charcuterie Board

Image: Jankowski, Kelly and Twenty20. Charcuterie Feature. GIF. Jun. 2021

Ever wondered how many miles your food travels before it reaches the shelves of your grocery store? According to CUESA, on average, it’s a whopping 1,500 miles! Fortunately, creating a chic and wholesome charcuterie board doesn’t require such a trek.  This summer, you can create a farmers market food board to start reducing your ecological footprint and the distance your food travels to get to your plate. Plus, it is an excellent way to spend valuable time with loved ones while enjoying the best produce, bread, and spreads your community has to offer. What could be better?

a local farmer slicing fresh cheese to sell

Tips for Creating a Wholesome Farmers Market Charcuterie Board

The beauty of a farmers market food board is the flexibility you’ll have when making it. Every farmers market is different, so embrace it and showcase your community’s great edible treasures.

They say variety is the spice of life. So choose an assortment of colors, textures and flavors to give your guests unlimited options.

Choose foods that create board balance between salty, sweet, savory, and spicy flavors.

Never losing sight of the ultimate goal of sustainability, choose foods that you’ll use for another meal to prevent food from going to waste.

The Components of a Farmers Market Charcuterie Board

A stunning farmers market charcuterie board with meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, and bread

Bellesen, Rachel and Cardinale, Grace. Farmer Market Charcuterie Board. JPG. Jun 2021.

Jam

Choose a sweet jam with a pinch of spice or another unique flavor that makes a perfect pair between toasted bread or crackers

  • Strawberry Rhubarb Jam from Farmette Fresh
a variety of jams and jellys perfect for a farmers market charcuterie board

Farmette Fresh. Jelly Fam. JPG. 2021

Spreads

Choose a few types of spreads your guests can pair with vegetables, crackers, meat, and cheese, depending on their preferences

    • Cashew cardamom blueberry spread from LEAP -2 miles 
    • Raw and unfiltered honey from Beeworks Farm -0.5 miles
    • Apple butter from Bellewood Acres -15 miles

 

Vegetables

Choose vegetables that stand out and have a variety of flavors like carrots and peppers.

    • Carrots from Cabrera Farms -16 miles
    • Peppers from Ben’s Farm -35 miles 

Bread

Most farmers markets don’t have an abundance of crackers. Instead, you can showcase the freshly baked bread you’re ought to find by thinly slicing and toasting it

    • Seedy buckwheat from Raven Bakery -26 miles
    • Black olive ciabatta from Breadfarm -16 miles
fresh baked black olive ciabatta at a farmers market for your charcuterie board

Breadfarm. Black Olive Mezza Ciabatta. JPG. 2021

Crackers

Crackers act as tiny vessels that help your guests bring together the immense flavors and textures on the charcuterie board. Their crunchy texture and salty taste work great with nearly every element on the board

  • Brown butter shortbread crackers from Raven Bakery -26 miles
Raven Barkery Shortbread crispy crackers from Bellingham Farmers Market. A great addition to the cheeses and toppings on your charcuterie board

Raven Bakery. Brown Butter Shortbread. JPG. 2021

Meat

Cured meat is a popular commodity found at farmers markets. The salty and chewy flavor suits the cheese, crackers, or toasted bread well

*Don’t eat meat? No problem! Opt for some dried fruit or salted nuts instead, and you won’t miss out on the salty, chewy texture of cured meat.  

  • Cured pork from Alluvial Farms -15 miles
  • Hickory ham from Ten Fold Farm -5.6 miles

Nuts

Nuts are a salty, rich, but crunchy snack that works great as a taste breaker. Any of your favorite in-season nuts will work

*If you have a food allergy, you can substitute them with something similar in taste and texture, like seeds. 

  • Candied and roasted hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnuts -23 miles

Cheese

Most farmers markets have wide varieties of local cheeses, so choose cheeses that speak to you. But, try to select cheeses that range in consistency

*Not a cheese fan? No problem! Add some more dips to your board. Alternatively, there are some great vegan options out there, like cashew cream cheese. 

  • “Fleece Maker” sheep cheese from Harmony Fields –22 miles
harmony fields sheep cheese from a farmers market on a wooden table

Waite, Michelle. Harmony Fields Sheep Cheese. JPG. 2021

Berries

Berries bring your charcuterie board to life with vibrant colors and bright taste.

    • Raspberries from City Sprouts Farm -3 miles 
    • Blueberries from Cleaarian Berry Farm -16 miles
    • Strawberries from Mariposa Farm -16 miles

Fruit

Like berries, fresh seasonal fruit from the farmers market is a great way to add color, texture, and bright flavor to the charcuterie board

    • Apple chips from Bellewood Acres -15 miles
    • Cherries from Mariposa Farm -16 miles 
    • Peaches from Martin Family Orchards -190 miles

Garnish

Complete your farmers market charcuterie board with a vivid array of fresh seasonal herbs

    • Fresh mint leaves from Farm Wild -10 miles
Vibrant green mint leaves and plants as the perfect garnish

Farm Wild. Mint. JPG. 2021

*The miles from farm to market were calculated based on the distance between the Bellingham Farmers Market and each farm’s location.

Conclusion

This summer, spend some quality time at your local farmers market and impress guests with a brilliant charcuterie board. Conveniently, a farmers market charcuterie board is adaptable to whatever your local market offers that day. Ultimately, farmers markets undoubtedly have the freshest and most nourishing produce your community has to offer, so you really can’t go wrong.

Explore what your community has to offer!

Revisit this article the next time you go to your local farmers market to create the perfect charcuterie board.

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Olivia deGregory

Written by Audrey Madison