Whenever there is a holiday around the corner, a party to be planned, or there is a special event coming up, everyone in my life counts on me to bring my charcuterie board building skills up front and center! I strongly believe that any board piled with all different variations of food is an ideal way for people to connect, reconnect, bond, laugh, and feed off one another by sharing flavors that they’ve discovered pair perfectly brilliant together. Let’s just call it like it is, Diamonds! Boards of all ages are show stoppers! The life of the party!! Therefore, there’s really no party without a charcuterie board filled with everything festive and more. This wonderful winter board was celebrated in my house on Christmas Day and it just made the holiday meal even more magical. It gets everyone involved and interested in what they are eating. I have always loved the fact that intricate meat and cheese boards allow picky eaters to evolve their taste buds and step out of their comfort zones. They begin to come to the realization that they enjoy much more then they ever thought possible. When introducing “strange” flavors to a certain palate, it’s all about the right accompaniments. You have to pair certain things together to bring out the most impeccable notes in a specific food item, instead of going in full force eating a harsh crumble of Roquefort cheese.
The building of the board:
The cheeses: The most important item in my opinion!
- Toscano cheese with black pepper. The notes of black pepper work great on a board!
- Fine herbed goat cheese. I always enjoy adding a fresh pinch of herbaceous flavor to a board.
- Spreadable unexpected cheddar. This is mild, slightly sweet, and sensational.
- Port Sault. If you’re a fan of muenster cheese I think you’ll really love this one.
- Le Delice de Bourgagne. This is seriously outstanding! I liked it a little better than Brie. It’s a buttery, soft French cheese that is just super decadent and luxurious.
The savory meats: How could we have a charcuterie board without the most marvelous meats?!
- Columbus salami.
- Lastly, since it was Christmas I wanted to go all out and a few special, very expensive pieces of chorizo imported from Spain.
Breads, crackers, and spreads! All necessities, especially when having such a large variety of charcuterie.
- Fig & Olive crisps. I love a good crispy cracker with all of the luscious soft cheeses.
- Thin slices of a chewy french baguette. Classic.
- Thin slices of a sourdough olive fougasse. A very delicious and unique bread for a cheese board.
- Roasted red pepper spread. Pairs exquisitely with the port Sault and the Toscano black pepper cheese.
- Pesto. Awesome with any of the cheeses, but especially with the herbed goat cheese.
- Original fig spread. To me, this is a staple on a cheese board. I love fig during the winter and fall months, but any flavor preserves would do. You need the sweet to counteract all of the savory.
Sweet treats and cookies for charcuterie accompaniment:
- Iced gingerbread men cookies.
- Dark chocolate star cookies.
- Assorted holiday shaped chocolate candies.
- Scandinavian tiding holiday gummies.
Even though this board was used for celebrating the Christmas season, you can absolutely change, take away, and add any ingredients to match the holiday or theme you’re choosing to celebrate yourself!