This article is part of our 2019 Holiday Entertaining Series sponsored by Roots Catering

Great things are happening on the cheese board front these days. No longer can you just swing by Dean & Deluca to overspend on some fancy cheeses to put out (I mean they’re closed of course but it wouldn’t suffice anyway : )

We’ve moved on from mispronouncing and adding charcuterie to our boards and are expanding them to gigantic, gorgeous, bacchanalian presentations of bounty. Dessert boards, color themed boards, party themed boards and more, the bigger the better. Spread across the entire kitchen counter, dining room sideboard, even down the center of the entire dining table as the edible centerpiece. Some of the most creative boards done in Charlotte are yours for the ordering, from Meggie at QueenBrieCLT and Linsday at BabeandButcher. Check them out:

@babeandbutcher

Charcuterie Cruditè Dessert and Grazing Table catering built by Babe & Butcher DM/Email to order | [email protected] | www.babeandbutcher.com

@QueenBrieCLT

Meggie Sullivan Handcrafts Custom Cheese and Charcuterie Boards in Charlotte. DM/Email for inquiries/pricing | [email protected]

via @QueenBrieCLT
via @QueenBrieCLT

Tips to Create Your Own:

Abundance is key, as is presentation. Shop with these in mind and then take the time to arrange things beautifully. Here are some tips:

  • Whole veggies and fruits take up nice space and offer visual plenty
  • Repeating items and shapes throughout brings the assortment together
  • Consider flowers, large bread rounds or loaves, greenery, bowls of condiments like pickles and olives, jams and mustards, honeys, assorted sizes and shapes of crackers and breadsticks, herbs, nuts (in the shell and out) even non food stuffs.
  • Compose and arrange for visual balance, with a mix of shapes and colors repeating. Leave some cheeses whole with slicers.
  • Buying in bulk helps save $$$ on at least some of the items ~ head to Costco to see what you can stock up on like crackers or shelled nuts, whole fruits, veggies. Then fill in with the more expensive but taste critical items like cheese and meats from our local shops.
  • For table long or counter wide boards, lay down several layers of craft paper and build the board right on the surface.

From Our Experts at Roots Catering:

  • Use a really nice board with great edges. The middle will be totally covered.  
  • The less organized you are with the board, the more picturesque it will look. Concentrate on the garnish.  
  • Make some of your own quick pickled items, add some local jams, honey comb, and marinated veggies. It’s all about the condiments. 
  • Pick some of your favorite local cheeses from Orrman’s, 7th Street Public Market, Reids Fine Foods, or the Farmer’s Market. Choose some local salami and cured meats from San Giuseppe.  
  • To make the board really pop it’s all about the color, check out the below photo from one of our charcuterie boards at ROOTS.

More Board Specifics:

  • Try to offer a variety: go-to meats include prosciutto, salami, soppressata and chorizo. Go-to cheeses include a blue like stilton or gorgonzola, hard cheeses such as cheddar or aged gouda, Manchego or Parmesan, and mild ones like goat cheese, triple cremes, and brie.
  • Standard reco is for 1 to 2 ounces meat and cheese per person.
  • Remove the casing from cured meat sausages by cutting off the end and peeling the casing back before you slice.
  • Fold or roll thinly sliced meats neatly and cut small sausages down into 1/4-inch slices.
  • Cut cheese into bite-sized pieces, whether triangles, sticks or cubes. For soft cheeses like goat, camembert & brie, be sure to include spreaders.
  • You can arrange the platter ahead and keep it in the fridge for a short while. Be sure to take it out about 20 minutes before the guests arrive so it has a chance to warm up.

More Inspiration from Instagram

Kitchen Island Counter Grazing Table by @toastsct
Edible Centerpiece by @tabla_by_julie
Dessert Board by @thegracefulhost.shop

Vegan, Dairy Free & Gluten Free Options from @sliceofjess HERE

Dilworth Tasting Room’s Cheese & Charcuterie Board Suggestions

Here’s how DTR offers their very popular cheese & charcuterie boards.

Cheeses

Soft and Spreadable

  • La Bonne Brie, France 
    • Cow’s milk, creamy texture with nutty, tangy, garlic, and mushroom notes. 
  • Hooks, USA
    • Cow’s milk, with a silky brie like texture, soft supple, creamy with a spicy and pungent blue cheese flavor 
  • La Tur, Italy 
    • Made from sheep, cow, and goat’s milk, soft and creamy with creamy acidic notes. 

Semi Soft and Pliable

  • Sottocenere, Italy 
    • Made from cow’s milk, flecked with truffles, earthy, salty, & savory 
  • The Robin, USA
    • Old fashioned Colby, made with cow’s milk, slightly sweet with a fresh butter note and a slight salty finish 
  • Drunken Goat, Spain
    • Made from goat’s milk, slight fruity flavor with subtle sharp and tangy notes 

Firm and Hard

  • Boorenkase, Denmark
    • Made from cow’s aged for 30 months, sweet, salty and nutty with hints of butterscotch 
  • Cantal, Entre-Deux, France
    • Made from cow’s milk, aged for three months, has a tangy yet rich and buttery flavor, with fruity notes and a nutty finish 
  • Shepsog, USA
    • Made from raw sheep and cow’s milk, aged between 4 to 6 months, lemony and sweet flavor with notes of caramel 
  • Paski Sir, Croatia
    • From the Adriatic island of Pag, a sheep’s milk with saltiness along with a distinct savory and aromatic herbal taste. Made with microbial rennet, thus making it a vegetarian cheese 

Salumi

  • Prosciutto Di Parma, Italy- Sea salt cured pork
  • Speck, Italy – Naturally wood smoked 
  • Calabrese, Italy – Zesty & spicy pork
  • Chorizo, Spain – Spanish pork sausage
  • Finnochiona, Italy – Rustic, soft pork
  • Bresaola, Italy  – Air dried beef
  • Salame Rosa, Italy – Pistachio flecked, soft and delicate 

This series is brought to you by Roots Catering, which provides the community with locally-sourced, handcrafted catering for any event. Led by Executive Chef Craig Barbour, who with his experienced crew can specialize any menu for any occasion. From weddings, to social gathering and corporate events to everything in between, the Roots Catering team goes above and beyond to create and execute an unforgettable experience.