Micro Charcuterie Boards Are The 'It' Girl Dinner Of The Summer

Over the last couple of years, charcuterie boards have been elevated from overpriced wine bar staples to part of the broader "girl dinner" lifestyle, where it's become perfectly normalized to arrange a bunch of snacks and call them dinner. (The French have been doing this for ages — it's called apéro dînatoire.) But let's be honest: Charcuterie culture has gotten a little out of hand.

Making a giant charcuterie and cheese board for a party or casual dinner with friends can be an expensive undertaking, and at the end of it, you might find yourself tossing half a wheel of triple cream cheese that's melted and fused to the board. Or worse, you might blink and find that someone's snatched the last piece of prosciutto right out from under you. Plus, do we really want to be sticking our hands in the same plate of meats and cheeses that everyone else has been touching all night?

So this summer, we're making it mini. Micro charcuterie boards are the nosh of the season, and there's no pressure to share — plus, it's far more sanitary. Think of them as bougie Lunchables for adults, with exactly the amount of food you need for a light dinner on a hot summer night.

How to make a micro charcuterie board

When it comes to mini charcuterie boards, the options are endless. A great serving option is wine glass charcuterie toppers, which nestle perfectly atop your wine glass and offer accompanying bites, or wine appetizer plates, which have a slot for you to slip your wine glass into. You could even get a kids' bento box lunchbox for easy on-the-go park apéros. Or, you could go the charcuterie cone route, and slice your meats and cheeses long and thin, arranging them in a paper cone like a tasty bouquet.

For what to combine for the mini board, this is the time to break out those adorable individual-sized jars of jam or mustard you bought in the airport gift shop on your last vacation (or smuggled out of the hotel breakfast buffet). Get some individually wrapped cheeses from brands like Babybel, Tillamook, Cabot, or Supreme, and relish in the knowledge that there won't be any messy cleanup afterward. You can order smaller amounts of charcuterie directly from your local deli, and ask them for portion recommendations if you're not sure.

You don't need to worry about buying a million different things to effortlessly execute the art of charcuterie. Choose one or two meats, one or two cheeses, and some kind of accompaniment, whether that's a bitter orange jam, some pickled red onions, or a few walnuts. Then just keep some bread or crackers off to the side to enjoy as needed.