Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie Board for Parris Wedding

Charcuterie Board

Char•cu•te•rie (/SHärˈko͞odərē/) – a store selling cold cooked meats. Charcuterie boards are usually a bit more involved, and include meats, cheeses, olives, nuts, jams, and bread.

They are ideal for impromptu guests or just to create a festive atmosphere by supplying a variety of tasty treats. Keep items for your board in your larder and fridge so you, like all good Girl Scouts, will “Be Prepared!” I have created a half dozen charcuterie boards this summer, each one having its own unique personality.

Charcuterie Board for Garden Party at Forest Home

Here are some tips you might find helpful:

1. Go with a variety, but don’t overwhelm. I usually have 3 cheeses and 3 different meats. I want my guests to really taste and savor the flavors of each cheese/meat.
2. Surprise your guests with something new. For the garden party at Forest Home, I drove to Hillsboro and consulted with the cheese monger at Weaver Street Grocery. Although I wanted to include something familiar (cheddar cheese), I wanted a stand out. He suggested a Milton Creamery’s Prairie Breeze Sweet Cheddar.
3. Mix flavors and textures. For example, instead of three hard cheese, include a soft cheese (brie, triple crème), hard (Manchego, cheddar), semi-soft (gouda, havarti). Use the same consideration in selecting your meats: hard salami, prosciutto rounded into florets, rolls of sliced meats.
4. Use a dense bread (French baguette) and perhaps some crackers. Include jams—fig preserves and blackberry jam are good choices.
5. Mix colors: Green & Black (Kalamati) olives, white and red grapes.
6. Don’t forget the nuts. At a recent party, the host had prepared some rosemary cashews, which I placed in a bowl on the board. Their herby flavor was an ideal accompaniment to the cheese and olives.
7. Create a work of art. Clip herbs from the garden and insert them into the gaps.
8. Final thought: Let the experts assist you. Thank goodness the cheese monger at Weaver Street was so knowledgeable. He introduced me to Frescatrano Olives, which is the best olive I have ever tasted, picked early and not briny. He also hooked me up with Delice de Bourgogne Triple Cream Cheese. Of course, I also purchased my favorite cheese—Parrano—with nutty Parmesan flavors with the texture of a young Gouda.

 

Charcuterie and Sangria

 

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