Usually you’ll find me here on GeekDad writing about board games and books, but when Platterful asked if they could send me a charcuterie kit to try out, I figured my family would be quite upset at me if I turned them down. While we’re still not planning on any big gatherings anytime soon, we put together our kit for a weekend lunch, and it was a big hit, as evidenced by the next photo.
So, here’s how it works: Platterful is an all-in-one charcuterie kit that you can either purchase in individual boxes or in monthly subscriptions (3 to 6 months at a time, bringing the price down 10%). There are two sizes, standard ($65) and large ($99)—ours was a large size, listed as an appetizer for 6–8 people or a meal for 2–4 people, and it was just about the right size as a lunch for our family of 5 (4 bigger people and one smaller one). They add new products each month, and they also provide easy instructions for arranging your board.
The box arrives with the cheeses in a smaller refrigerated pack, and instructions both for what to do right away, and how to set it up when you’re ready to serve it. Most of the products can be stored for a while, so you’ve got 2 to 3 weeks to enjoy it—best to order it ahead of your event. I put together this little unboxing video to show all the things included.
Our kit had three cheeses (including a spreadable goat cheese in a jar), two meats, three spreadables (honey, horseradish mustard, and an orange fig spread), and several accompaniments: olives, peanuts, and a chocolate bar. There was also a package of water crackers. The platter list also includes the suggestion of buying fresh herbs and strawberries at the store yourself if you’d like to include those. (There’s a large sheet included with a numbered photo of a charcuterie board and a list of all the things on it.)
My daughter and I worked together, following the step-by-step assembly instructions: cutting and arranging the cheeses and meats, spreadables, and additional accompaniments. The instructions show a 19″x10″ board; our board is a bit smaller, but we managed to make things fit (without the additional herbs and strawberries, and we left out the peanuts because we’ve got a kid with an allergy). We’ve made our own snack platters for parties in the past, buying meats and cheeses and crackers, but it was very cool to have some instructions on how to create an eye-catching display.
The kit included a small honey dipper to go with the jar of honey, and it also included two little disposable bowls and wooden scoops for the two other spreadables. We used both of the bowls instead of putting the jars directly on the board since our board is small, but the tiny bowls are (1) very light and (2) have rounded bottoms, so once they were no longer propped up on all sides by meats and cheeses, they tended to tip over from the weight of the scoops. I’d recommend using the scoops but set the jars nearby if they don’t fit on the board, or else use your own small containers for that.
And here’s our finished board! I think it turned out pretty nicely, though we lost a few crackers that got broken in transit. Even on the smaller board, we did manage to make everything fit (except the peanuts, as mentioned before).
More importantly, perhaps, it was also delicious. The kit includes a little postcard that has a wine pairing recommendation (though we skipped that), as well as “The Perfect Bite,” their recommended flavor combination for this month’s kit. This month’s was the cracker, orange fig jam, spreadable goat cheese, salami, and a salted peanut—and I can confirm that the fig jam and goat cheese together was one of my favorites. My wife and I both liked the olives, though the chili-and-garlic flavor was a bit spicy for the kids. Everyone was a fan of the tomato basil Gouda cheese, and the Merlot Bellavitano was also a popular choice. My kids were very pleased overall with the results and suggested that perhaps Platterful better send us a couple more kits, just so we have more data points before I write my review.
So, is it worth the price? I made a grocery run today and decided to check around at my local grocery store for some similar ingredients—in some cases I was able to find the exact same product, but most things I had to find a substitute, whether a different brand or a slightly different item. We didn’t finish off the spreadables so those we’d be able to use again if we made another charcuterie board. I estimated that the price of buying the ingredients myself at the grocery store (including using several store-brand substitutions) would drop the price to around 65% of the Platterful price. However, I did have to hunt around the store for all the ingredients myself, and I also only knew what to look for based on the kit that we’d gotten. (In the past, our own snack trays are a bit closer to a big version Lunchables rather than the more sophisticated choices included in the kit.)
I definitely feel like the price incorporates the knowledge about good flavor pairings, the arrangement instructions, and the work done in collecting all the components and having them arrive on my doorstep. Also, for each box purchased, Platterful donates 10 meals to kids through No Kid Hungry, so there’s a bit of giving back there as well. Charcuterie platters are a luxury, as Platterful says on its website, so they’re probably not something we’re going to get all the time, but I think it’s something I’d consider getting as a treat for special occasions. At the very least, I know none of it will go to waste!
For more information or to order a box or subscription, visit the Platterful website!