Got a wooden board or a pretty platter and some cured meats or cheeses? Then you’ve got the makings of a delicious cheese- or charcuterie board. Follow these handy tips and ideas and great grazing is within reach!
From cheeseboards to charcuterie platters—and including a plant-based board sure to please)—we’ve got you covered with ideas, tips, and tricks for savoury shareables.
The ultimate cheeseboard
Served as an appetizer or an alternative to dessert at the end of a meal, a good cheeseboard is always a crowd-pleaser. Here are some of our top tips for assembling your showstopper:
- Before you buy your favourite cheeses, calculate around 30 grams of cheese per person.
- Is your group fewer than six people? Choose about three different types of cheeses.
- More than six people? Buy at least five different types of cheeses.
- Vary the cheeses with different flavour and texture profiles. The most popular milks used in cheese-making include cow, sheep, and goat.
- Ideally, set cheeses out 30 minutes before serving so they’re at room temperature—this is key to bringing out their flavours.
- Cow’s-milk cheeses are usually milder in flavour and can be creamy, sweet, hard, or salty.
- Examples include creamy French brie, sweet fresh mozzarella, hard aged British or Canadian cheddar (try our selection of Snowdonia cheddars from Wales for something different), or salty Italian Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Slightly sweeter in flavour, sheep’s-milk cheeses also offer a world of flavours and textures.
- There’s crumbly and salty Greek feta, semi-hard blue French Roquefort, as well as the nutty, buttery beauty from Spain, Manchego, from which to choose.
- These cheeses are known for having a slightly sour tang and a distinct aroma. They’re terrific to pair with other cheeses for a completely different flavour profile.
- Think of a creamy log or pyramid of Canadian or French chèvre, a piece of grilled squeaky Cypriot halloumi, or the caramel-like notes of aged Dutch goat’s-milk Gouda.
Round Out the Board
- Add some Panache Classic Water Crackers or crisps, slices of our Bakery Dept. baguette or crusty loaves, and a Panache Apple & Fig or Apricot & Chili Pepper Spread and Topper to give your board a touch of sweetness, plus fresh fruit like clementines, pear and apple slices, or grapes for a burst of freshness. Or pick up one of our pre-cut fruit or vegetable containers in our Produce Dept. to keep prep simple.
- Arrange attractively on a board, label each cheese, and set out cheese knives/spreaders.
The meat lover’s charcuterie board
Easy to make and fun to enjoy as an appetizer or during a cocktail party, this versatile favourite will impress guests. Here’s how to make the ultimate meat lover’s charcuterie board:
- Calculate about 60 g of meat per person when you’re shopping, especially if you’re serving your board as an appetizer. If it’s fruit, veg, and other fixings to round out your selections.
- Consider a variety of meats, including cured pork, dry cured sausages, salamis, beef, and turkey, and spicy as well as herbed and spiced options.
The Cured Meats
- As with your cheeseboard, mix things up with the cured meats. Set out room-temperature paper-thin slices of salty-sweet
- Add salamis and sausages that offer different flavours, including a fennel-flecked Toscano from Tuscany, a fiery Calabrese with hot peppers and garlic, or a red-hued Sicilian made with smoked paprika.
- Fan out slices of your favourite deli meats, including mortadella, smoked ham, turkey, or roast beef.
- Add the briny pickled bite of gherkins, olives, carrots, green beans, or mini onions to cut through the richness of the meat.
- Rounds of crusty bread or baguette and crackers become vessels for different flavour combinations.
- Dried fruit, dates, and nuts provide texture and crunch.
- Grainy mustard gives your board some oomph, while red pepper jelly or fruit toppers are the perfect way to bring sweetness to your platter.
The plant-based board
There’s a bumper crop of flavour and textures to enjoy with plant-based boards. Get crunching with this dinner party–worthy platter. Here’s what you need to get started:
- Grab a selection of your favourite plant-based dips, like Compliments Garlic & Herb, or add a jewel-toned easy beet hummus to the mix.
- Eat the rainbow with fresh, crunchy crudité (raw veggies) like carrots, cucumbers, and sweet bell pepper spears, cherry tomatoes, celery and fennel slivers. Time-strapped? Our Entertaining Trays take the chopping off your hands!
- Pre-roast and cool your favourite cubes of squash and root veggies for a heartier board.
- Olives, pickled veggies of any kind, sundried tomatoes, preserved artichokes, and chutneys are welcome additions.
- Medjool dates are perfect for this platter, along with any dried nuts, toasted seeds, and dried or fresh fruit.
- Stack some plant-based breads and crackers on your board to load up this bounty.
- Choose some plant-based cheese alternatives, like original or chive Violife Cream Cheese Alternative.
- If the board is doubling as dinner, bake up gluten-free, plant-based Pizza Oggi Beyond Meat Baci Bites, and serve with a side of marinara for dipping!
- Kick the party up a notch by having on hand a side bowl of some of your own Sweet & Salty Pantry Party Mix.
- Arrange all together with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or mint and watch your sharing board disappear!
*Stay safe. Please respect and follow all public health guidelines when celebrating the season.”