Hello Knox submitted by Anon
One of my favorite things to eat is cheese. Did you know that cheese is so widely enjoyed that it is rumoured that Italy’s Credem Bank takes Parmesan cheese from local producers in exchange for cheaper loans? Or that cheese is the most stolen food item in the world?
Cheddar cheese is one of the most common kinds of cheese and it is said that it originated in the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England. Produced since the 12th century the village kept (and they still do!) the cheese in caves which have the perfect humidity and consistent temperatures for maturing it. If you go to the village today you can tour the caves and the cheese factory.
Closer to home there are many wonderful local cheese companies that make their products right here at home. My personal favorites are the Golden Ears Cheese Crafters in Maple Ridge and the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks on Vancouver Island.
One of the best ways to enjoy all these wonderful cheeses are charcuterie boards. They are amazingly as simple (or as complicated) to do as you want them to be, and filled with a completely customizable array of items and therefore suit any diet, occasion, or meal you’d like. You can feature something fancy with items that compliment it or you can fill it with your simple and go-to favorites.
Below are some ideas with my personal favorite items. I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts about what you would fill your board with.
Jam, Jellies, Spreads & Preserves: I love a good hot pepper jelly (amazing on a cracker with goat cheese!), a grainy mustard and a cherry preserve are all good options.
Fruit: Use either fresh or dried – or both! Blueberries, grapes, pears and apples are some that I find have worked the best.
Crackers & Bread: Good old Triscuits work great and a cheap and cheerful French loaf from Safeway works wonderfully
Nuts: As long as there are no allergies, almonds, pistachios and walnuts go with just about anything
Pickles & Olives: Those mini cornichons are so tasty and the perfect size! Mini dills and pickled beets and carrots work wonders as well. Don’t forget a couple of olives for some salty options!
Cheese: I love a selection that includes a soft, a smelly and a hard so I usually go for a goat cheese, a blue cheese and a cheddar but there is a whole world of delicious cheeses available – melted brie is another one that comes to mind.
Meats: Many people enjoy salami, turkey and prosciutto!
** A quick tip: When you start to place everything on your platter, it makes life a lot easier to start with any bowls or containers that you have put your mustard, preserves or other items in. Then go from big to small – place your chunks of cheeses, cuts of meats and end with the small bits like blueberries or nuts.
Finish it all off on a pretty platter and top with a sprig of rosemary and enjoy! I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions and maybe adding a new favorite to my list.