Chocolate, cheese & cured meats.
We asked our friend Nancy Serag of Honey & Hive Boards for her expert tips on curating plentiful holiday boards.
The holiday season is upon us and that means holiday parties, family gatherings, cocktail parties, and lots of food! One of our favorite get-together treats is a lush charcuterie board. A carefully curated spread makes a beautiful centerpiece while also feeding your guests.
To help you fine tune your board skills, we've gathered some tips from an expert - Nancy Serag, from Honey & Hive Boards. So grab your favorite cheese knife, uncork a bottle of wine, and read on to learn how to fuse creativity and indulgence to create a delicious masterpiece.
Build Your Board:
1. Start with your favorites. Pick, "items you know that you and your loved ones will enjoy," and consider variety. Nancy says, "we ensure we have a variety of cheeses from different sources including cow, sheep, and goat's milk. We also love to ensure we have a variety of textures, from soft and buttery, to hard and aged cheeses."
2. You must have cured meats to be considered a charcuterie board. Look for salami, bresaola, prosciutto, and others.
3. Add some color! "We believe that we eat with our eyes first, so color is so necessary! Lots of fresh seasonal fruits like persimmons, pomegranates, orange slices, and organic berries."
4. A mix of flavors, textures, and colors make for a beautiful board and excellent flavor combinations. "The finishing touches on our boards always includes some dried fruit for some chewy bites and a generous amount of Theo Dark Chocolate!" says Nancy. "Our absolute favorite chocolate to use is Theo Pure 70% Dark Chocolate, we buy these by the dozen and love how it pairs so effortlessly with aged Gouda, Manchego, and Gruyere."
5. No matter the occasion, when you're making a charcuterie board, remember - pick what you like, have variety, add chocolate, and have fun! There are few rules to a charcuterie board, so take these tips and then make it your own.
- Nancy recommends keeping your crackers off to the side so they stay crisp and not soggy.
- Not sure how much of each ingredient you need? Nancy says, "in the catering industry the appetizer portion is 2oz of cheese and 1oz of charcuterie per person, and for a light meal 4oz of cheese and 2oz of charcuterie per person."
- Every board can be its own work of art. Whether you're making a board for a small get-together, wedding, birthday party, or big holiday dinner - you can find fun ways to make your board unique and on-theme. For example, Honey & Hive Boards take their boards to a new level with gilded chocolate squares (here's how).
- Your boards can vary by season too - choose in-season fruits and vegetables, and look for seasonal chocolate to add. "During the holidays, we substitute out the dark chocolate for other flavors such as Peppermint Crunch or Gingerbread Spice."
- Nancy says there's always an opportunity for charcuterie, "literally every life event, and social function is a perfect way to enjoy a charcuterie arrangement. Our personal favorite, with two feet up on the ottoman, on the sofa in front of our favorite television show!"