Move over, flowers. These tasty meat and cheese arrangements are the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for someone special.

Jessica Ball, M.S., RD
February 01, 2021
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Credit: Getty Images/bit245

People are loving charcuterie lately. Over the holidays, charcuterie houses were the welcome savory alternative to traditional gingerbread. Individual "jarcuterie" creations have become the adorable go-to of socially distanced gatherings. Hoping to bring the tasty trend into Valentine's Day? Look no further. Make a charcuterie bouquet this holiday for a satisfying gift. The flowers won't be missed. 

What You Need to Make a Charcuterie Bouquet

Charcuterie bouquets are super simple to make yourself—and making your own instead of buying one allows you to get creative and save some money. All you need to make a charcuterie bouquet are the following ingredients: 

  • Charcuterie meats (salami, capicola, pepperoni, etc.) 
  • 2-3 different cheeses 
  • Olives, cornichons, pickled vegetables 
  • Pretzel rods, crackers or breadsticks 
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary, parsley, sage) 
  • Long bamboo skewers 
  • Ribbon or twine  
  • Parchment paper 
  • A “vase” to hold the bouquet (stemless wine glass, small jar, small bowl, mug, etc.)

How to Make a Charcuterie Bouquet

To assemble your bouquet, gently thread your desired foods onto skewers and layer within your vase. Cut cheese into cubes or slices. Stack olives, cornichons and any pickled vegetables together. Fold pepperoni, salami and other meats and layer onto skewers. If you want to go the extra mile, check out this tutorial on making charcuterie "roses." Surround the skewers with stalks of fresh herbs and breadsticks. Fan out and stagger different foods to create a visually appealing charcuterie cluster.  

To lighten up your bouquet, try adding veggie sticks like carrots and celery, or stack a skewer with cherry tomatoes. You can even make it plant-based if you opt to put hummus in the bottom of the vase and skip the meats—note that a jar or bowl works best for this method. 

Regardless of how you assemble your bouquet, the foods in the charcuterie bouquet should not be kept at room temperature for more than two hours, so create some space to save this edible gift in the fridge until you are ready to give it. To keep everything looking and tasting fresh, make your bouquet only a few days in advance of gifting it—better yet, make it the day-of. 

Charcuterie bouquets are the perfect way to say "I love and appreciate you" in a delicious way. Making a gift yourself is thoughtful and has never tasted so good. Customize yours to fit your Valentine's preferences. Check out our tricks on how to up your snack board game for more inspiration.