Cheese and meat boards—or a fresh new take, a plant-based board—are within reach with these simple sharing ideas.
The best cheeseboard
Here are our top tips to assembling a palate-pleasing trip around the world via cheese:
- Calculate around 30 grams of cheese per person before you head out to the shops.
- 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 your cheeses with different flavour and texture profiles. The most popular milks used in cheese-making include cow, sheep, and goat.
Cow's-milk cheeses are usually milder in flavour and can be creamy, sweet, hard, or salty.
Examples of these 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, and more to choose from.
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 and squeaky Cypriot halloumi, or the caramel-like notes of aged Dutch goat's-milk Gouda.
How to arrange a cheeseboard
- Add some Panache Classic Water Crackers, 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, and fresh fruit like mandarin oranges, 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.
- Ideally, set cheeses out 30 minutes before serving so they’re at room temperature—this is key to bringing out their flavours.
- Arrange attractively on a board, label each cheese and set out cheese knives/spreaders.
The carnivore's charcuterie board
Assemble a versatile grazing board that's fun to enjoy as an appetizer or serve it during a cocktail party and impress guests. Here's how to make the ultimate carnivore's charcuterie board:
- Buy two ounces of meat per person, especially if you're serving the board as an appetizer. If it's being served for dinner, consider doubling that amount, and make sure you've got an assortment of good bread, crackers 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 deli meats
- As with your cheeseboard, mix things up with the cured meats, too. Set bout room-temperature paper-thin slices of salty, buttery Italian prosciutto or nutty Spanish Serrano ham.
- 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.
- 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 helps cut through the richness of the meat while red pepper jelly or fruit toppers are the perfect way to bring balance to your board.
The plant-based board
There’s a bumper crop of flavour and texture to enjoy with plant-based boards. Get crunching with this dinner party–worthy platter. Here’s what you need to get started:
- A selection of your favourite plant-based dips, like Compliments Garlic & Herb, or add an unexpected edamame hummus.
- Fresh, crunchy crudité (raw veggies), like carrot, cucumber and pepper spears, cherry tomatoes, celery, and fennel slivers. Time-strapped? Our Entertaining Trays take the chopping off your hands!
- Pre-roasted and cooled cubes of squash and root veggies make for a heartier board.
- Olives, pickled veggies of any kind, sundried tomatoes, preserved artichokes, and plant-based chutneys are welcomed 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.