It’s time to turn up Michael Buble’s Christmas album and get out the decorations because the holiday season is here! The most wonderful time of the year comes hand in hand with holiday parties. Whether you are hosting or attending, a charcuterie board is the perfect appetizer to be the best host or #1 guest. A charcuterie board has something for everyone from cheese to cured meats, fresh veggies, dips and other accoutrements – you can’t go wrong. We wanted to show you how to build the perfect charcuterie board using local ingredients!
Step 1 – Meats & cheeses
When building a charcuterie board we stick to three meats and three cheeses. When it comes to cured meats we love spicy salami, salty prosciutto and sopressata. These three meats bring a variety of flavours and textures to your board. You can also try jazzing it up with some kielbasa or mortadella for more adventurous guests. For cheeses we recommend something aged, soft and semi-soft, think old cheddar, goat and gruyere. Make things tangy with a punchy blue cheese or creamy brie. You really can’t go wrong with your selections!
Burlington has many fantastic deli counters you can visit. Denninger’s at Burlington Centre has a globally-inspired deli counter where you can purchase a variety of cured meats and cheeses. The Block & Co in downtown Burlington’s expert team can help assist with your selections, providing a complete experience when building your board.
Step 2 – Dips & fresh produce
Freshen up your board with some local dips and fresh produce. Newly opened in Burlington, Farm Boy at Walkers Line and Dundas, has some amazingly fresh produce and a delicious selection of house made dips. We are currently loving the Farm Boy house brand tofu dips (spinach and kale is a must-try) and the spicy Eda-Yummy dip, both fantastic additions. Next up, add some colour to the board with crisp cucumbers, grapes, berries or apples. Dips and produce are a way to freshen up your board and break up the salty notes of the cured meats and cheeses.
Step 3 – Accoutrements
Olives, honey, nuts, grainy mustard, olive oil, pickles, jams, preserves – the list of additions to your charcuterie masterpiece are endless. We recently discovered Backed by Bees, a honey producer in North Burlington. Backed by Bees has a smoked honey that is produced in Burlington ethically and sustainably (seriously you can see the apiary from the shop). This smoked honey makes the perfect addition to a charcuterie board, sweet and smokey – a real surprise for guests! Check out The Olive Oil Dispensary located in Aldershot has wonderful vinegars and oils to make dipping and layering delicious flavours possible.
Step 4 – The carbs
You need a vessel to eat up all these fantastic items, a baguette sliced thin and a few cracker varieties are ideal. The double baked pita crackers from Farm Boy add a great crunch and depth of flavour to any meat, cheese and dip bite! Now with two locations in Burlington, COBS Bread has an amazing fresh French baguette that acts as a great vessel for the other fantastic flavors you’ve put together.
Step 5 – The sweets
Balance out everything with a few sweet treats. Christy’s Gourmet Gifts has a number of delicious treats like their famous milk chocolate toffee crunch and elf much. La Crème de la Crème Creamery located in Downtown Burlington does custom belgian chocolate boards which take out all the guesswork!
In five easy steps you can build the most delicious charcuterie board this holiday season supporting Burlington producers! Cheers to a happy holiday season!
Andie is an award-winning marketing and communications professional in Burlington. A lover of food, Andie is always exploring new restaurants and local producers. Specializing in digital marketing she freelances doing social media management and content creation – knowing how to deliver unique and engaging content. Twitter: @andieweese