The holiday season is right around the corner. Which means that your calendar will soon be filled with holiday parties, get togethers and you guessed it, holiday eats. While everyone is gathered around the table this year, hop on the charcuterie board trend and serve a delicious array of foods that is guaranteed to please everyone!
What is Charcuterie:
Before we flood you with charcuterie board inspiration, let’s first talk about what charcuterie is and why it is all the rage. Charcuterie is typically a display of cured meats (there are also vegan options nowadays!), paired with cheeses, crackers, nuts, olives, fruit and jams or spreads. Charcuterie has recently gained popularity in many restaurants and homes across the country as there is a shift in food priorities and demand. Consumers are looking for healthier options and are moving away from preservatives, fillers and the typical holiday offerings. With a meat and cheese board, they can intentionally select locally cured meats from their butcher, artisanal cheeses from their favourite dairy shop, gourmet olives, freshly baked bread and organic fruits of their choice. They have the opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal, while also supporting their local farmers and businesses.
This year especially, it is important to support local businesses. The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to purchase your Christmas gifts from entrepreneurs, small business owners or to source your ingredients from local farmers. We can’t think of a better dish to serve at your next upcoming holiday party than locally sourced “Share-cuterie!” Like the word play? We do too!
Building the Perfect Board:
The holidays are a busy time of the year. There are picky eaters, allergies, an array of appetite sizes and so on. Charcuterie boards eliminate both the hassle and the headache of feeding your guests. They are the perfect opportunity to make use of leftovers such as ham, turkey, chicken or roast beef and eliminates the worry that your guests are going hungry, because they can graze throughout the party and go back for seconds or thirds!
Charcuterie boards require a handful of things in order to come to fruition; a theme, colour and variety. For the theme, some entertainers like to match it to the holiday and make a Santa hat with the base being a cracker, topped with cream cheese, a cherry tomato and dollop of cheese to make it look like a hat. Others prefer to stick with the classic, meat, cheese and fruit, while others take an Italian or Greek spin on it. Whichever way you go, it’ll be delicious. Once you’ve chosen your theme, pick your meats and cheese. Once the main colours have been chosen, shift your focus to brightening up the board. Grapes, red or green apples, raspberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and cherry tomatoes, all help to liven up the board and make it look more appetizing and appealing to eat. Next, the best part, the jellies and jams! Spice up your board by adding your favourite mustards, jellies and jams. Choose from La Dee Da’s newest jelly and jam offerings! With options like Blueberry Gin Fizz Jam, Spicy Ice Wine Jelly, Balsamic Onion Jam, Cranberry & Orange Vodka Jelly, Spiced Apple Whiskey Jelly and Peach Bellini Jam - the combinations are endless! Last but not least, add some variety. This can come in the form of adding vegetables (which also add extra colour!), nuts and seeds, dried fruits, crackers, chips, pretzels or freshly sliced bread. The more variety you serve, the more options people have. This is one of the reasons why charcuterie boards are so appealing - there is something for everyone to eat!
The Power of a Charcuterie Board:
Whether we realize it or not, food has the power to bring people together. They gather around the dinner table to share stories, reminisce about the old times and create new memories with their family. Charcuterie has the power to bring people even closer together by having them share not only a meal, but a board. It is a conversation piece, a work of art and fun to see the sandwiches and pairings that everyone makes out of the offerings available. Charcuterie is more than just fancy meats, cheeses, fruit and bread - it is about sharing a handcrafted meal, spending time with your family and supporting local businesses. Now that is something we can all get behind this holiday season!