Ribbons of prosciutto, rounds of fatty salumi, smooth schmears of pâté—charcuterie is and forever will be the champion of carnivorous grazing. To help with such a task, we’ve gathered some of our favorite purveyors of prosciutto and backers of brie doling out superb charcuterie boards.
With a home base at Garland Vietnamese bakery and sandwich shop, Quoc Bao Bakery, Chả Cutie, riffs on the intersection of Vietnamese cold-cuts and French-style charcuterie boards. Chả Cutie, with its portmanteau of “chả” (“chả lua” refers to a banana-leaf steamed, sliced pork sausage or ham that’s ubiquitous) and “cutie” (a cute diminutive for the cured meat boards), nudges us away from taking the West as a starting point. And so a box might deliver dried mango tucked alongside a blended cheese ball that’s been rolled in black sesame seeds, niched into a playground gleefully crowded with honey-sesame sticks and jujubes. Instead of Italian or French charcuterie staples, it might brim with a swirl of truffled pâté, fresh baguette and spreads, and slices of the homemade chả—soft, supple, like mortadella or bologna—with a splash of color from fuchsia-rimmed, black-and-white speckled dragon fruit.
This Knox-Henderson wine bar quietly opened last February, which is to say, not long before a pandemic settled in. It’s the first Barcelona Wine Bar in Texas (and 18th location in the U.S.), and its arrival brings more of Spain’s tapas dining culture to Dallas. Besides its long list of tapas and extensive selection of wines—from terrains such as Portugal, Chile, Argentina, and, of course, Spain—there is ample cheese and charcuterie. It wouldn’t be a Spanish charcuterie board without lush jamón Serrano, but also find spicy or garlicky chorizo and fuet, a Catalonian pork sausage. On the queso side, six-month manchego, tangy-spicy cow and goat’s milk cheese, and smoky cow’s milk cheese from Galacia provide a diversity of funk. If you don’t want to build your own board from square one, the Aperitivo Board takes out some of the guesswork (we’d suggest adding a few more items for a truly decadent spread).
Obviously this Oak Lawn cheese shop is going to lean heavily on mostly domestic cheeses, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a well-rounded offering of both cured meats and cheeses. Scardello’s cheese trays come with an arrangement of four delightful cheeses, dried fruit, nuts, and sliced baguette, plus the option of prosciutto and/or salami. If you don’t need to feed a hungry horde, the cheese plate to-go is ideal for one or two fromage lovers.
Chef Misti Norris distinguishes herself through her koji curing (an Asian fermentation style that involves imbuing grains, often rice, with mold to preserve and create umami) and goes for unusual and funky flavors like makrut lime or smoked onion. She fashions terrines whose horizontally-striated layers might involve pig’s ear for texture. And lately there have been wheels of mosaic terrines, herb-flecked or inlaid intriguingly with the slightly funky, wonderful notes of soured local sweet potato. The chicken liver mousse has always been an umami standout. But she’ll also make pale, pink cottage hams, wispy slices of cured lardo, and dill and burnt pecan rillettes with their cap of fat dusted prettily with herb powder. It’s a whimsical play of new artisanry. Petra charcuterie boards will get you six items with house-made celery-seed crackers, mustard, and jam. Individual add-ons come by the eighth or quarter pound; and do throw in a few blueberry boudin links from the market goods. For $18, throw a few cheeses on, too.
Pre-arranged boards can be delivered to your Dallas (or Collin or Denton County) doorstep from this charcuterie purveyor. It emphasizes meats and cheeses from humane and organic farms. Even jams, mustards, and honeys are sourced from small-batch producers. The Texas board includes rotating cheeses from Mozzarella Company, Pure Luck Dairy, and Veldhuizen Family Farm, as well as cured meats, nuts, dried fruits, and local jam or lavender honey.
The boards feature sausage slices whorled around dried apricots or olives that create a sinuous curve around rosettes of prosciutto. They set Brie, whole or sliced, amid drifts of pistachios and jewel-like dribbles of raspberries or ruby-colored pomegranate seeds, maybe filled out with the spiky crenellations of halved grapefruits. Aisley Lopez is responsible for these swirling geometries, stunning in their presentation, that give you her heart packed neatly into a box. La Tablera is Lopez’s online business with to-go boxes, from small to ample, including a brunch board with smoked salmon and cream cheese. She is not shy about announcing herself as a Latina-owned charcutería (even the white box, tied with a vegan leather strip she thinks of as “Spanish-style” in its aesthetic).
Olivia Genthe launched Fount Board & Table in 2018 and has been curating beautiful boards of meats and cheeses ever since. These days, you can order Genthe’s popular boards in small, medium, or large formats (which serves up to four) that are prepared with Fount’s daily selection of cheese and meat. For the scrupulous eater, you can customize your board with options to suit your personal palate. For a departure from the strictly meat and cheese combo, Fount’s bagel board is comprised of Lenore’s Handmade Bagels (a serious favorite of ours), Regalis smoked salmon, cultured cream cheese with capers, red onion, fennel pollen, house-made strawberry basil jam, espresso-rubbed cheddar, Rodolphe Le Munier petite Brie, gruyere, honeycomb—need we say more? This isn’t your average bagels and schmear breakfast platter.
It may be a newcomer to Texas, but Eataly calls upon Italy’s ancient history of salumi and formaggi to bring Dallas some of the country’s finest cured goods. It’s easy to get a small sense of the Italian salumeria here: drying oblongs of meat hang at the deli counter where you can point and pick items for your charcuterie board. One case over, find the formaggi—fresh, house-made flor di latte mozzarella and stracciatella, hazelnut-shrouded goat cheese, sheep’s milk cheese with veins of truffle running throughout.