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A Guide To Making A College Friendly Charcuterie Board

From Trader Joe's, OFC!

(Hannah Engel / Rowdy Magazine Online Writer)


As boredom strikes during quarantine, why not entertain yourself by throwing pieces of cheese and meat on a fancy board? Making charcuterie boards has always been one of my favorite afternoon activities, but sometimes making these boards can be so expensive. Follow me on my journey of making the perfect college student-friendly charcuterie board. 

To make a good charcuterie board, it is important to incorporate different flavors and textures.  To showcase different textures on the board, use both creamy and hard pieces of cheese. Make sure to fold the meat in cool ways so it catches the eye, this will allow you to add different shapes to your board. The jam gives a fruity, soft texture to the board. The nuts offer a salty crunch and the different types of crackers allow a person to switch it up. All of these flavors are so different, yet they work so perfectly together. 

I started my day off by going to Trader Joe’s, one of the happiest places on Earth. I stood in a 15-minute line until I was finally in. I like Trader Joe’s specifically for making charcuterie boards because their cheese section is small but mighty. And it’s easy to navigate. 

In Trader Joe’s, I picked up three kinds of cheese, some thinly-sliced meat, as well as some crackers, jam and almonds. (I also might’ve slipped some $6 sangria in my cart but that is beside the point.) 

All of this together was $38 plus tax, which if you split amongst friends is easy money. 

(Hannah Engel / Rowdy Magazine Online Writer)



  • Manchego Anejo Cheese- $7.92

  • Creamy Toscano Cheese- $4.80

  • Chevre with Honey: Goat’s Milk Cheese- $2.99

  • Italian Breadsticks with Olive Oil- $1.49

  • Truffle Marcona Almonds- $5.99

  • Apricot Jam- $3.49

  • Meat Assortment- $5.49

  • (Optional 21+)

  • Sangria- $5.99

TOTAL: $38.16


The Preparation Stage:

First, let's begin with the meat. I bought a pack of meat that includes salami, prosciutto and capocollo. To add some flaire to my board, I decided to get fancy with my meat folding.

I put the meat in a line and made curves in it so it trails along the board nicely. I also folded the capocollo into a flower shape and thought it gave a nice touch to the board. 

Now to the main part: the cheese. It's important to have a creamy cheese, as well as hard cheese on your board. Naturally, I bought my favorite honey goat cheese from Trader Joe’s. To be honest, I think I could eat this cheese alone with a spoon. It’s that good. I also included a Toscano and a Manchego, which are both very yummy. 

Next, I moved onto the finishing touches of the board. I included Carr’s crackers, which I already had at home and are the actual best for cheese boards. They're plain and offer a perfect crunch with the cheese. Trader Joe’s offers a great alternative, too.

I dolloped some apricot jam and some olive oil breadsticks to the board to give it dimension and height. And I couldn't forget the obvious, either: grapes. I also splurged on some truffle Marcona almonds which are worth the price, trust me. 


(Hannah Engel / Rowdy Magazine Online Writer)


For my 21+ friends, I also managed to pour myself some sangria after making the board. Sangria is super easy and fun to make.


  • 1 bottle of red wine 

  • ½ cup Orange juice

  • ½ cup Brandy (optional)

  • 1 sliced orange 

  • 1 sliced green apple

 I usually just eye it and make it to taste since everyone has a different pallet. It pairs so nicely with a charcuterie board and is the perfect way to spice your drink choice up for summer. If you aren’t into going out and buying a bunch of ingredients for a drink, Trader Joe’s is selling 1.5-liter bottles of delicious sangria for only $5.99. You can thank me later. 

And Voila! My board was done. As you can see, it doesn’t take much time to put together, but at the same time, it can look like you spent hours making it since it looks so beautiful. I am no chef, but I put my personality into this board and I’m super siked with how it turned out. 


Hannah Engel is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. Her simple pleasures include playing Animal Crossing, online shopping, and taking care of her plants. She’s passionate about fashion and travel. You can reach her at


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