Cheese-and-Charc uterie Board

Canadian Living - Holiday Entertaining - - Easy entertaining -

For easy party prep that de­liv­ers big on flavour, serve a se­lec­tion of cured meats and ar­ti­sanal cheeses. A char­cu­terie board re­quires min­i­mal ef­fort but has some­thing for ev­ery­one—and the no-cook fac­tor means you can spend more time greet­ing guests and less time in the kitchen.

(pre­cut­ting may re­sult in oil droplets ris­ing to the sur­face of the cheese).

$: Cana­dian ex­tra-old Ched­dar or mild Gouda

$$$: Ap­ple­wood-smoked or cloth­bound Ched­dar, Mi­mo­lette, Parmi­gianoReg­giano or aged Gouda

Blue cheeses are in­jected with moulds to give them their dis­tinc­tive blue veins and tangy flavour. The pun­gency dif­fers by va­ri­ety—Ro­que­fort is no­to­ri­ously strong, while Dan­ish blue and Cam­bo­zola tend to be milder.

$: Gor­gonzola or Dan­ish blue

$$$: Ro­que­fort, Stil­ton, Cam­bo­zola, Shrop­shire or Bleu Béné­dictin

Cheese Plat­ter

The best plat­ters pro­vide an as­sort­ment of dif­fer­ent tex­tures and tastes, rang­ing from sharp firm cheeses to aro­matic soft types. For ex­tra va­ri­ety, choose from dif­fer­ent milks, such as cow, goat and sheep. Here are our picks to please ev­ery palate and bud­get.

Soft cheeses have a smooth tex­ture and creamy flavour. Be­cause of their con­sis­tency, th­ese va­ri­eties are best served with crack­ers or baguette.

$: Soft goat cheese log (a.k.a. chèvre) or feta

$$$: Ar­ti­sanal soft goat cheese (look for ash-cov­ered va­ri­eties, such as Grey Owl or Le Cen­drillon)

Semisoft cheeses of­ten have bloomy ed­i­ble rinds and creamy in­te­ri­ors. Their flavours range from strong and nutty (Oka) to mild and but­tery (Brie).

$: Dou­ble-cream Brie, Camem­bert, Boursin, Oka or boc­concini

$$$: Mor­bier or triple-cream bloomy rind va­ri­eties (such as Lal­ib­erté, Château de Bour­gogne or Saint An­dré)

Firm or hard cheeses are of­ten sharper in flavour be­cause of their longer ag­ing process. Have a sharp knife or cheese slicer on hand so guests can cut thin slices off the wedge or brick

Char­cu­terie Board

Se­lect a mix of del­i­cate whole-mus­cle cured meats such as bre­saola (air-dried beef ten­der­loin) and pro­sciutto, and firm cured sausages such as salami or dry-cured sausage. For in­stant va­ri­ety and tex­ture, add a smooth store-bought pâté or ter­rine.

$: Ital­ian salamis (such as Cal­abrese sausage or sop­pres­sata), Span­ish-style chorizo sausage, mini smoked sausages, or pork- or chicken-liver pâté

$$$: Jamón ibérico or ser­rano ham, pro­sciutto, bre­saola, coppa, or duck- or goose-liver pâté or mousse

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