We get it. It's just another weekend at home, right?
We asked local foodie & cocktail expert Yvonne from Taste & Tipple for her top tips for crafting THE perfect charcuterie board so that you can celebrate all the big love in your life (whether together or apart).
So get ready to plan out your boards & celebrate valentines day with your favourites.
1. SIZE MATTERS Get outta here with your tiny cutting board. You need maximum surface area - opt for an oversized wooden or natural stone tray. Square, circular, or rectangular, all shapes are welcome, as long as they’re big.
2. VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE Feature an assorted selection of cheeses - an aged, soft, firm, and a blue. Add a stinky cheese if you’re feeling adventurous. Head to your local cheesemonger for a guided walk-through.
a. Aged: Gruyere, Gouda, Aged Cheddar
b. Soft: Brie, Camembert, Goat
c. Firm: Manchego, Pecorino Romano, Edam
d. Blue: Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton
e. Stinky: Epoisses, Morbier
Space them out on your board and be sure to slice into or crumble each of the cheeses so guests aren’t scared to make the first move.
3. HAM IT UP Building out around your cheeses, artfully arrange loosely bundled slices of prosciutto, create a layered arc of salami, or a straight line of sliced cured sausage. Other great options include soppressata, chorizo, mortadella or a terrine.
(Freewheeling tip: Hit up some of the incredible Italian delicatessen's in Little Italy like Derienzo's or Nicastro's. We're also huge fans of adding the smoked octopus from Whalesbone on Bank st.)
4. CARB LOAD Feature at least three different types of vessels for your cheese and charcuterie. Homemade or store-bought crostini are an easy crowd-pleaser. Play with texture with delicate buttermilk wafers or chewy date and hazelnut toasts. For the love of all that is holy, do NOT put your crackers in a separate basket – we are going for abundance here, by the time you’re done, your board should be completely hidden under an expertly composed array of colours, flavours, and textures.
5. SWEETEN THE DEAL Enhance or balance the salty, spicy, creamy or umami flavours of your cheese and charcuterie with some fresh fruit – berries, figs, stone fruit, grapes or apples – or dried fruit like apricots, mango, or dates. Add in a pot of jelly or jam to smear on your crackers – a red pepper jelly, marmalade, or quince jelly are all great options. Toss on a few shards of dark chocolate for good measure.
Shop our selection of charcuterie accompaniments + preserves HERE
*** Our new favourite happy hour favourites from Provisions Food Company. Shop HERE
6. SALT BAE Bring the brine with a selection of olives, antipasto, roasted peppers or artichokes. Add a swipe of spicy mustard.
7. GO NUTS Enhance the textural play with some toothsome roasted, salted cashews, almonds, pecans, or walnuts.
These incredible maple pecans from La Confiserie will do the trick.
8. I DIP, YOU DIP, WE DIP Maybe your partner is playing at healthy living, throw on some hummus, muhammara, or artichoke dip for good measure.
(Freewheeling tip: We love the www.ifthisdipcouldtalk.com locally made dips)
9. FINISH STRONG At this point, your board should be completely covered with decadence. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to be totally extra by arranging a few sprigs of fresh herbs, edible flowers, or other seasonal touches.
10. PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN Snap a shot of your charcuterie masterpiece and share it on Instagram tagging @tasteandtipple for expert appraisal or
Kudos love birds and galentines bubble friends.Enjoy!
Photography by @rothbauerstudio