The words “charcuterie” and “cheese board” often seem intimidating if you are assigned the duty of creating these holiday entertaining spreads. But the task of building these sweet, salty and savory boards is easy with a little assistance and recommendations from our knowledgeable deli staff.
To help you with this task, Katy Viswat, our talented resident chef, has prepared examples and product recommendations for you to follow. And if you don’t feel like doing it yourself, we also offer prepared spreads like this one for your holiday party. Just call 231.334.3149 to order ahead.
To begin, choose a neutral palate upon which to build your creation. Butcher block, silver platter or square white plates work well and allow the food to stand out on its own. Avoid busy, decorated plates and those with a concave shape (flat is best).
Starting with the charcuterie board, the goal is to offer a balance of flavor by offering the mild, creamy flavors of deliciously savory cured meats with salty & tangy Kalamata (or other brined) olives, or pickled beets and peppers.
For the cheese board, offer a variety of textures (hard to creamy) and levels of flavor (mild to sharp). Here’s what we used:
Delicious and beautiful additions to your board should include dried fruits (apricots, cherries), fresh fruits (apples, pomegranate wedges for beautiful color), a rich jam or two (raspberry, blackberry) and nuts (almonds, cashews). The combinations are endless and you can never go wrong!
Be sure to pick a variety of cheese accompaniments that are full of both color and flavor. They will complement the flavors of the meats and cheeses and make a statement with the overall visual presentation. As another addition, place several varieties of crackers or toasted bread rounds within and around the spread for easy service.
Your guests will also appreciate the service of both red and white wines. The Civello white wine made with Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Verdelho, Albarino, Sauvignon Blanc and other grapes would pair well with the entire spread. Champagne also goes well with everything!
Cured meats pair well with Prosecco, Chianti, a Spanish Grenacha, a lighter Pinot Noir.
The cheeses will pair well with white wines like Fume Blanc, Riesling, a white Burgundy or un-oaked Chardonnay. Matching reds would be a Burgundy or a lighter Zin.
For the beer lovers, an English ale will complement the cheeses, especially the Huntsman. Try a Samuel Adams Pale Ale or Arcadia Ales Angler’s Ale.
Dennis, our wine expert, will be happy to help you pick out specific wines to complete all of your holiday entertaining, from chacuterie and cheese to Christmas dinner pairings.