The charcuterie board is a staple during the holiday season. Whether you are serving your board as an appetizer for your family or creating your own personal version for a virtual gathering, the fundamentals are simple. The key to creating a well-curated charcuterie board is in selecting a nice balance of meats, cheeses, fruits or antipasto, nuts, spreads and crisps, such as lesley stowe raincoast crisps®. During the holidays, a couple of intentional touches can add a festive flare to any board.
To begin, include meats from different preparation styles. Start with some thinly sliced prosciutto, salami or capicola. To add heartiness and contrast to the thin slices, add a cured sausage like Spanish chorizo or cacciatore. To contribute an element of smoothness, include a pâté or terrine.
For a well-balanced board, you’ll want to include a firm cheese, a semi-soft cheese and a soft cheese. Firm cheeses are a natural fit for thinly sliced sweet salami or delicate prosciutto. The sharp, rich flavour of aged cheddar, or the buttery texture of manchego make great choices. For semi-soft cheeses, try a creamy brie, camembert or blue. Goat cheese and Boursin make great choices for flavourful, spreadable cheese.
Fruit, antipasto and nuts:
This is your opportunity to add fresh flavours, beautiful colours and textures to your board. For the holiday season, fruits like fresh figs, pomegranate, red or green grapes and raspberries add festive colour. Antipasto like olives, roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes add a spark of acidity and pop of colour. Shelled and salted hazelnuts, or almonds, will add crunch and a savoury flavour.
Spread and festive garnish:
To add a touch of sweetness to the salty flavours of the board, include a spread like honey, red pepper jelly, or berry compote. Add sprigs of green with herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage to add a pop of colour.
I like to provide my guests with a few options when it comes to crisps. lesley stowe raincoast crisps® cranberry and hazelnut with the festive flavours of tart, plump cranberries and toasty hazelnuts combine to create a perfect snack for the holiday season and beyond, delicious with manchego cheese and prosciutto. lesley stowe raincoast crisps® fig and olive include the salty taste of Kalamata olives with the sweet flavour of succulent California figs, these crisps are a great snack on their own or perfectly enhanced with brie and chorizo.