HOSTING THIS CHRISTMAS? HERE’S TO EASY ENTERTAINING WITH A CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE BOARD

HOSTING THIS CHRISTMAS? HERE'S TO EASY ENTERTAINING WITH CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE

Christmas is a time for fun, food, family, friends & grazing platters that take the effort out of entertaining! Carry on reading for our top platter picks...

Tempt your guests with an abundance of cheese, charcuterie and accompaniments. Whether you’re hosting an intimate get-together or a large gathering, we’re here to share our suggestions to create a fantastic spread for your guests.

Food is a way to bring people together, so the great thing about a charcuterie board is the wide range of items you can use to excite your guests’ taste buds.. whilst having a classy food display to bring the party together. Grazing boards are a no brainer really! Delicious finger foods will allow guests to mingle and munch at the same time – and we have some interesting products which make a great conversation starter too. 

Have fun with it and play around with foods that offer fresh flavours of sweet and salty mixed with the soft and crunchy textures to delight your guests palate. Start with a variety of cheeses, from soft to hard and then your favourite meat selections. 

Other items you can add to your board are grapes, apples, pears, figs, jam, dates, bread sticks, baguette, nuts, and pickles. With this grazing board being for a holiday party, bring in flavours of the season with clementines, cranberry relish, and fresh rosemary.

British Cheese

It’s great to have a wide variety of cheeses because everyone’s tastes differ. It’s best to serve around 3 to 5 different types on the board. A few staples to have are soft cheese like brie, a firmer cheese such as aged cheddar and we also like to throw on a strong blue cheese! Different cuts can make styling the board more fun so play around with cubes, slices, whole cheese and crumbling (especially the blue).

Our top picks are… 

1. Rachel Reserva, not your typical Goat’s cheese. It is a semi hard washed rind cheese with a delicate yet moreish sweet medium flavour.

2. Baron Bigod Brie is a raw milk British brie with a white, bloomy rind and a smooth, silky texture with a long lasting, earthy, farmyard and mushroom flavour. The cheese is rich and ultra creamy, a beautifully flavourful Brie style. 

3. Lancashire Bomb is a traditional and very popular cheese from Goosnargh. It is matured for 2 years in wax giving it a creamy crumbly texture with a strong, full flavour. This cheese is great served with Piccalilli.

4. Driftwood Goats Cheese is a newbie on our website! This creamy mousse-like goats cheese develops an intensely rich flavour with time. It starts out light and delicate but a fuller flavour soon emerges as the ash coat begins to break down the paste of the cheese underneath.

5. Beauvale Blue Cheese has been carefully developed for it’s soft melt-in-the-mouth texture and mellow flavour. This blue is perfect for both Stilton fans and those who prefer a milder blue flavour.

British Charcuterie

Cheese and charcuterie go hand in hand, so it’s definitely as essential on any grazing board. Much like the cheese, try and experiment with different variations, flavours and textures to complement each other. We have kept it consistent choosing again 3-5 charcuterie and offering a nice variation of whole muscle and salami from pork, lamb and venison to suit different tastes and add depth to the board. As this is a festive platter we’ve opted for full flavour, spiced meats.

Our top picks are…

1. Tempus Spiced Coppa is characterised by it’s natural golden ratio of lean muscle to fat (around 70:30) it has a deep, rich flavour and a wonderful texture. A delicate blend of carefully sourced whole spices such as cardamom, cloves and cinnamon are added to the meat.

2. Great Glen Venison & Mustard Seed Salami is made with spices, mustard seeds and cracked white peppercorns. A mild delicate salami with sweet undertones.

3. Moons Green Lemon Lamb Salami is a very distinguished cured lamb sausage made with Moroccan-style preserved lemons to tame the full-flavour of the lamb and give it a gentle but familiar flavour.

4. Calcot Farm Fennel Salami is a semi-soft salami with a kick of fennel seed. A great introduction and a must on any British charcuterie board.

5. Bowhill Bresaola is a new limited edition Bresaola we are now stocking! Produced from Scottish grass-fed cattle, and then traditionally cured and matured over 3 months to create a richly flavoured, velvety bresaola.

 

Don't Forget Drinks & Accompaniments!

Accompaniments not only offer a whole new element of sweet and salty flavours to complement the cheese and charcuterie, but they are a great way to create depth and fill in the little gaps on a board! They add an extra element of fun to a grazing board as guests have a variety of textures and flavours to pair together whilst creating their own little canapés. 

There are plenty of locally produced, artisan nibbles which add character to any board – the options are endless, but we have a few must haves which are listed below and just a small mention of wines, read on!

Our top picks are…

1. Snowdonia Chutneys particularly this Snowdonia Balsamic Caramelised Onion Chutney can be perfectly relished alongside a salty, spicy cheese or enjoy with a country pâté or as a savoury tart topping. Chutneys are an essential to any board and widely loved!

2. Toast for Cheese are thin, light and crisp (baked twice like biscotti) and uniquely studded with fruits, nuts and seeds. These unique crackers are composed of 60% fruit and make a lovely sweet cheese carrier!

3. Millers Elements Crackers Millers Earth Crackers in particular are Beetroot, Potato and Spinach flavour, with a texture that first crumbles then melts in the mouth. The added beetroot and spinach to gives these crackers an earthy sweetness with a perfect, subtle flavour that pairs with most cheeses and also well with charcuterie. Enough said, a grazing board would not be complete without crackers.

3. Cornish Chicken Liver Pâté is produced with port and is a smooth and buttery addition to our pâté range. Made with the finest chicken livers and a generous spread of butter. This is more like a traditional parfait with a smooth, creamy texture and a layer of fat. Perfect for dipping ! 

4. Pickled Walnuts have a sweet/sour balance which really complements different cheeses perfectly. Each fruit has a hint of savoury spicing and its own different vinegar base. These walnuts work are dark and tangy, working really well with blue cheese. 

5. Albourne Estate Pinot Noir is a very approachable, instantly recognisable Pinot Nor with aromas of spice (black and white pepper). Red sweet cherry, blueberry and a subtle violet on the nose with a delicate, light and crisp palate. This is a beautifully produced Pinot Nor and we think it deserves a mention in this blog as it is extremely versatile and is a great wine to complement any grazing selection! We have a wide range of locally produced, English wines on our website which truly are the cream of the crop. Why not have a browse here.

We hope you’re feeling festively inspired! Show us how it’s done and tag us in your grazing platters on Instagram at @great_british_charcuterie

As always, buy British and support your local producers. Small farms and suppliers need it more than ever right now with the long, cold winter we have ahead of us. Thanks for reading, we hope you’ve enjoyed this blog!

Phil, Louise & The Team

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