Our friends and family know that when you come to our house, there will be a charcuterie spread waiting for them. What can we say? We love to eat cheese. In preparation for our guests, we hit up our local markets to find the best ingredients for our spread. We like to change up our selections frequently, after all, variety is the spice of life. There is no limit to the combinations you can try.
How To Select & Combine Ingredients
When selecting your cheese, you want an assortment. Choose a mixture of cow, goat and sheep cheese as well as a combination of soft and firm cheese. The same goes for the meats. Mix them up in terms of size and texture. Consider choosing hard meat like salami along with a more thinly cut Prosciutto, wrapped in small squares. I like to have a mix of crackers and bread as well. Don’t forget to add fresh herbs for garnish.
Charcuterie Spread Favorites
My favorite crackers are 1. Carr’s Table Water Crackers in Original, Pepper or Toasted Sesame, 2. La Panzanellae, Rosemary (I always keep these on hand) . The have big crackers or small ones. I like the big ones and just break them up. 3. Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps. I like the cranberry for goat cheese.
When it comes to salami, my top choices are:
4. Olympic Provisions and 5. Olli Olympic Provisions: French Saucisson Sec and Italian Soprestta made in Portland, ORChianti Red Wine Artisan Salami and Pinot Grigio version from Trader Joes Joe’s cotswold with chives cheese (their Honey Goat and Camembert are also good)Cambazola, cow milk cheese from Germany
6. Rogue Creamery, Reserve Blue and Smokey Blue 7. Dried apricots or dried unsweetened mangoes cut in strips8. French Cornichons (little pickles) 9. Dalmatia Fig Spread goes great with goat cheese, sharp white cheese or brie10. Marcona Almonds, love the ones with Rosemary from Trader Joes 11. Duck Mouse with Foie Gras
Cheeses to look out for:
MT Tam by Cowgirl Creamery, is a triple cream, Blu di Buffala, Italian blue-veined cheese made with full-fat pasteurized buffalo milk by Quattro Portoni in Bergamo, Italy, Cornish Kern which is a cow milk cheese was just awarded Supreme Champion of the 2017 World Cheese Awards produced by Lynher Dairies )I will have to try that one).
If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. You can’t go wrong. A lot of grocery stores have Fromager/Cheesemonger who can help you choose what cheeses and meats. Go the day before so you have time to try the cheeses and meats and learn about where they come from. That’s just half the fun!
After the party I like to store them in individual tupperware or sandwich bags. I just cut the label from the plastic and stick it in there so I know what they are.
What are your favorite cheeses and meats that you use for your charcuterie spreads. Would love to hear, please leave a comment.