What’s cracking? Charcuterie boards are!
There’s no better way to showcase a variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, and other accompaniments in a visually appealing way than a charcuterie board. But, what good is a charcuterie board without crackers to pair with your delicious spreads and dips?
What Is The Role of Charcuterie Board Crackers?
While charcuterie board crackers may appear uninteresting at first glance, they are essential to the experience. A delicious cracker is more than just a vehicle for creamy goat cheese or smoked gouda. It adds a necessary contrast and texture to the smoothness of the cheeses and fruit, and the chewiness of the meat.
Without the best crackers for a charcuterie board, the entire experience can fall flat. So, it is important to choose crackers that compliment the other ingredients and enhance their flavors.
What to Look for in the Best Crackers for Charcuterie Boards
When selecting crackers for a charcuterie board, there are several key factors to consider. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Texture: You want a cracker that is crunchy, but not too hard to bite
- Flavor: Crackers that are neutral in taste are ideal, as they won’t overpower the flavors of the meats, cheeses, and other accompaniments you’ll be serving
- Size: Make sure the crackers are large enough to hold the spreads and dips you’ll be serving, but not so big that they’ll be difficult to bite
- Shape: Consider the shape of the cracker, as different shapes can enhance the presentation of your charcuterie board
- Ingredients: Look for crackers that are made with quality, natural ingredients and are free from artificial preservatives and additives
The Best Types of Crackers for Charcuterie Boards
So, if you’re looking to find the perfect crackers for your next charcuterie board, we’re here to help with our hand-picked list of the outright best crackers to pair with your charcuterie board meats and cheeses. From the classics that never fail to impress to the trendy artisanal crackers grabbing the spotlight, we’ve covered all the bases.
But that’s not all; we’ve also listed some less traditional crackers and gluten-free options to accommodate everyone’s tastes.
Classic Charcuterie Board Crackers
Water crackers are a must-have for any charcuterie board. Their crispy texture and very neutral flavor profile go with just about anything from soft to hard cheeses. They even go great with fruit, jam, and nuts.
As their name suggests, water crackers have little flavor on their own, but they bring plenty of mild crunch.
Carr’s Table Water crackers have been gracing host and hostesses tables since 1832. They have a light crispy crunch with a super subtle flavor. Spread some warm brie cheese on top of one of these round delights and add a dollop of jalapeno jelly for a perfect creamy, sweet and savory treat.
Whole Wheat Crackers
For those looking for a hearty option, whole wheat crackers are an excellent choice. They’re made from whole grain flour and provide additional fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a nutritious addition to your charcuterie board. Whole wheat crackers also have a slightly nutty flavor that pairs well with hard cheeses and cured meats.
Carr’s Whole Wheat Crackers are a sturdy cracker made with 100% whole wheat flour. They have a mild, slightly sweet taste.
If you’re craving a burst of delightful flavor and satisfying texture look no further than multigrain crackers! These marvelous crackers are crafted from a medley of grains and seeds, resulting in a nutty and earthy taste that perfectly complements robust cheeses and meats.
Try Milton’s Organic Multigrain Gourmet Crackers to add an extra touch of sophistication and gourmet flavor to your charcuterie boards.
For meat-forward charcuterie boards, buttery crackers are a must. You need something mild and buttery to combat the cured meat’s smokey and salty flavors.
They even go well with most cheeses. We find they pair best with more pungent cheeses like pepper jack, sharp cheddar, and bleu cheese.
Ritz crackers are an easy go-to for buttery crackers or incorporate French buttery crackers like L’Aperivox or La Mere Poulard Butter Cookies for an elevated feel.
Sweet and Fruity Crackers
Sweet crackers are a way to calm intense flavors. Sweet and fruity crackers provide contrasting flavors to balance the rich, salty, cured meats and cheese on a charcuterie board. They infuse tiny pieces of fruit baked right into the cracker for a gentle touch of sweetness you’ll love with a smear of bright Brie.
Fruit crackers work best if you have strong cheese on your board, like Gorgonzola, bleu cheese, or Gruyere. And the touch of sweetness also plays nicely with salty meats.
Try Rustic Bakery’s Apricot, Pistachio & Brandy Crisp and bring some magic to your charcuterie board; they’re a game changer. These crackers deliciously dance between sweet, tart, and savory.
Artisan Charcuterie Board Crackers
A variety of cheeses and meats find their match in the rustic charm and texture contrast of artisan crackers.
Wafer crackers are thin, delicate, and crispy crackers. They have a light and airy texture, hence the name. These thin and delicate crackers offer a unique texture that contrasts beautifully with the richness of cured meats and cheeses. Their subtle flavor allows the flavors of your toppings to shine, making them a versatile choice that effortlessly complements a variety of ingredients.
The company 34 Degrees Crisps offers a variety of flavors that pair wonderfully with cheeses like Brie, Camembert, and fresh goat cheese as well as meats like prosciutto and thinly sliced turkey and ham.
Crackers with herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil have a tasty aroma to complement many meats, cheeses, and spreads making them one of the best crackers for charcuterie boards.
You can’t go wrong with herb crackers if your charcuterie board is short on bold flavors. Not everyone enjoys smelly cheese and strong cured meats. So if you’re keeping things mild, this is a fabulous way to amp up the flavor.
Firehook’s Garlic and Thyme Baked Crackers pair best with soft Brie or goat cheese. And they’re extra yummy with hummus!
And don’t sleep on Triscuit Garden Herb Crackers. When it comes to classics, Triscuits have been a long time favorite; they are woven crackers, so they’re super hearty. If you’re spreading cheese, having some Triscuits on your charcuterie board is an excellent idea.
Flatbread is a thin and crispy type of cracker with a mild flavor. They pair well with aged cheeses like sharp cheddar and flavorful meats such as robust salami and bold pepperoni. Flatbread crackers often have a slightly toasted taste that complements both soft and hard cheeses.
Rustic Bakery makes great artisan flatbread crackers. Their Rosemary and Olive Oil Flatbread Crackers are great herb crackers to add to your charcuterie board. These crackers are a long thin rectangle and can also be great for adding different shapes to your charcuterie board.
Less Traditional Charcuterie Board Crackers
Step out of the ordinary and embrace the idea of non-traditional charcuterie crackers for your board.
Although not technically crackers, toasted French baguette slices brushed with olive oil (commonly called by their Italian name, crostini) can be a delicious choice for pairing with soft, creamy choices. Their crusty exterior and soft interior creates an ideal combination of textures making them one of the best types of crackers for cheese.
Grissini or Breadstick Crackers
Breadstick crackers add texture, flavor, and height to your charcuterie board creation. The crusty breadsticks provide a sturdy base for scooping soft cheeses, flavored butter, or jams. You can use them for dipping into olive tapenade, artichoke spinach dip, or hummus. Slim breadsticks like grissini are also an excellent vessel for wrapping slices of prosciutto, salami, or other thinly sliced meats.
Pretzels are a fun, non-traditional option. Use pretzel rods or sticks as a dip-friendly food for scooping up spicy mustard, chutney, or other spreads such as beer cheese or smoky gouda dip.
Pita chips are a sturdy scoop for popular dips on a charcuterie board like hummus, baba ganoush, and olive tapenade.
Gluten-Free Charcuterie Board Crackers
Some gluten-free crackers are ideal for charcuterie boards without compromising taste and texture, perfect for those with dietary restrictions.
Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers are my personal favorite. They are baked rice crackers with sesame seeds and are crispy and salty. I like these crackers so much, I regularly buy them for myself, even though I’m not gluten-free!
Other favorites include:
- Milton Gluten-Free Crackers: These come in flavors like Sea Salt, Everything, and Fire Roasted Vegetables.
- Almond Flour Crackers: I like the ones from Simple Mills and you can choose from Sea Salt, Farmhouse Cheddar, and Sun-Dried Tomato Basil.
- Sweet Plantain Crackers: Here’s a unique addition to your charcuterie crackers: gluten-free, corn-based, plantain crackers from Craize. Plantains are a common ingredient in Latin cuisine and taste great when paired with salty cured meats.
- Cheese Crackers: Crackers infused with parmesan, cheddar, or Asiago are a savory option for those with food allergies or who prefer to eat gluten free. Try Whisps or Moon Cheese.
How Many Crackers Do You Need for a Charcuterie Board?
The number of crackers needed for a charcuterie board can vary depending on the size of the board, the number of guests, and the overall variety and quantity of other items being served. As a general guideline, you can estimate around 6 to 8 crackers (or 3 to 4 ounces) per person.
How Many Different Types of Crackers Should You Serve with a Charcuterie Board?
When it comes to crackers on a charcuterie board, the name of the game is variety. You want to bring a range of flavors, textures, and options to the party. So aim for 3 to 6 types of crackers in different shapes to offer a well-rounded selection. Give your guests some choices like plain, seeded, and flavored crackers.
A charcuterie board is a delightful and visually appealing way to serve an assortment of meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, and other finger foods artfully arranged on a platter or wooden board. Among these various components, crackers play a crucial role in the overall presentation and taste experience.
Crackers act as the perfect vehicle for transporting delicious bites from the board to your mouth while providing additional texture and flavor that complement each element on the plate. They also offer variety in terms of size, shape, color, and taste, making them indispensable when putting together an impressive charcuterie spread.