If you ask me, charcuterie boards are a superior appetizer. They’re so fun to make and to eat, and you can customize it however you like. You get a little bit of sweet and salty with a charcuterie board, and they’re just so pretty. And although it’s definitely fun to make your own board, it can be a bit tricky. Making them as beautiful as they look on social media isn’t as easy as you think. There are a few tips and tricks you should know when it comes to assembling your board. Here’s how you can impress your friends and family at your next dinner with a beautiful charcuterie board:

Choose a variety of meat
You want to have a variety of meat flavors and textures on your board, so everyone can find something they like. For example, you should have both bold-flavored meat, like salami, and mild-flavored meat, like prosciutto.

Choose a variety of cheese
Like how you need to have a range of meat on your board, you need to have a range of cheese. Cheese is often the star of the charcuterie board, so you want to make sure you choose right. Depending on the size of the board, aim for around 3 cheese. You’ll want a mix of soft, hard, mild, and bold cheese on your board. Some of my favorites are brie, cheddar, and goat.

Add fruit
Fruit not only makes the board pretty, but it also pairs great with meat and cheese. You’ll want a variety of fruit on the board, like grapes, berries, and figs. There’s no need for little bowls with fruit, it looks best placed right on the board.

Use small bowls
A great way to break up and add dimension to your charcuterie board is by using small bowls. Put softer food, like jam, olives, and mustard, in the containers so that they don’t move around and make a mess.

Include something pickled
Whether that’s gherkins, pickled onions, or pepperoncini, it’s always good to add something pickled to your board. It’s a great contrast from all the sweet flavors and adds a beautiful pop of color.

Choose mild flavored crackers/bread
The cracker/bread should just add to the flavor, not overtake it. You’ll want to have a few options of crackers or bread on your board, but the star of the show should be the meat and cheese, so make sure you go for something milder in flavor.

Details are important
To really make your board stand out, you’ll want to add details. That means sprigs of rosemary, a little jar of honey, a handful of cashews, or even some edible flowers. While these details make the board look beautiful, they also pair well with everything. Details will make all the difference.