a How to on Cheese and Charcuterie for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us! Tis the time of the year to host friends and family, guests: expected or unexpected…

Whether you’re planning a get together or have an unexpected neighbor drop in for a glass of wine: having a go-to appetizer is a win-win for you and your guests.

Stress reduction at it’s finest comes by storing a few pounds of crowd pleasing cheese and charcuterie, as well as classic adornments for the plate.

What you’ll need to get started:

An elegant serving plate & small plates for noshing~ We’ve got a few timeless pieces that go perfectly together for sale at Gourmet Kitchen Shop. It’s great to store your go-to set for entertaining in it’s on area of the kitchen for easy access.
A knife for cheese slicing and a fork for serving ~ Aim for a matching set to your dishes if you’re purchasing a new entertaining set, if not what you have in your kitchen will do just fine.

How to put your plate together – a Mix + Match guide:

Cheeses ~ Aim for a combination of a variety of styles, including hard and soft cheeses. A goal is to have a cheese your guests will be familiar with, as well as a few soon-to-be new favorites. Cut them into slices prior for ease. Aim for 3 to 5 cheeses.

Mix and Match Guide:
Full of Flavor: Cheddar or Gouda
Aged: Parmigiano or Gruyere
Creamy: Brillat-Savarian or Brie
Crumbles: Goat Cheese, Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola

Charcuterie ~ A Salty and savor protein to go with your delicious assortment of cheeses. Aim for the same number of meats to pair with your cheeses.

Go to favorites:
Prosciutto
Pulled Pork ~ a southern twist on the traditional cheese plate
Salami
Chorizo

Bread and Crackers ~ When in doubt.. Serve them both! Grilled french bread, or small baguette crisps are a great place to start. We bake our own fresh bread daily at Gourmet and are happy to help you pair our local flavors with your selections. We also have a variety of chips and crisps.

Adornments ~ Time to get creative!
Olive Oil is great for dipping – it’s no surprise we have a multitude of flavors for your delight at Bodacious Olive.
Honey is a delightful addition to any plate ~ Try local honey like East Hill’s variations for a treat for out of town visitors.
Fig Jam is a classic addition.
Sliced fruit is always great to add color to the plate: Grapes work well with most cheeses, and apples pair great with Brie.
Almonds or any nut of your selection works well

Last, but not least ~ don’t forget your Wine! Cheese and wine slide together like a great pair of gloves. Our experts will help you pair your wines ~ we suggest offering both white and red wines for your guests. Typically: one bottle per two guests is a great guideline when hosting a cocktail hour – providing approximately two glasses per guests – though, some guests will only indulge in one glass, you may have a guest who enjoys your wine so much they opt for a third glass.

We can’t wait to help you put together your go-to appetizer for this fall season. Come in any time to SoGourmet for samplings of wine, cheese and olive oil to make sure you have the best of the best in stock for your guests this year.

Just for our blog readers: We’re offering 10% off your selection of cheeses when you buy ¼ pound of more. Bring this article in with you for your special offer.