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Just in Queso You Didn’t Know
When my daughter sent a picture of herself holding up the beautiful charcuterie board she made to share with some friends on her birthday, I admit I was rather surprised. I, or anyone I knew, would never have prepared, or probably known what a charcuterie board was, way back when I went to college. I knew she had a sophisticated palate, but I also liked to believe that the allowance I sent weekly was moderate enough that she was learning to eat on a budget. However, I also learned that charcuterie boards are “a thing” amongst the college sect and they can be put together on a moderate budget.
HaveUHeard where charcuterie boards originated? I am sure my daughter hadn’t either, but it is rather interesting. A typical charcuterie, the word derived from the French words that mean flesh and cooked, consists of mainly meats and cheeses. These boards have progressed to commonly include bread, fruits, nuts, condiments such as honey or mustard, pickles, and olives, or, in my daughter’s case, a lovely bowl of gummy worms, carefully placed between the prosciutto and figs. They are completely customizable and it seems that college kids are doing just that; modifying them to fit their tastes and budgets.
A charcuterie board usually starts with cheese. Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Publix, all have a nice selection of cheeses (and cured meats) at various price points. Try to mix up the texture of cheeses by using a hard cheese, a semi-hard cheese (we like Manchego), and a soft cheese like Brie. When you get to the meats; (a simple salami or pepperoni will do) it is less expensive to buy them whole and slice them yourself as opposed to the pre-sliced packages. Then the fun begins when you get to choose the accouterments; the foods that are supposed to enhance the flavor of the cheese and meats. Often used are olives, nuts, jams, and dried or fresh fruits. You certainly can’t forget the-bread and crackers. We love a good ciabatta.
It is important to note that there are no real rules here. Therefore, if your roommate is a vegetarian, you can certainly change it up a bit to accommodate. You can surely create a spread of sweet, savory, and salty without meats. It’s all about the good nibbling. What to prepare the charcuterie board on is a whole other story. It can be as simple as an unfinished wooden tray or a fancier wooden tray that will be one of the things, they can keep from their college apartments and take to their after college home. Etsy has many beautiful ones as does Uncommon Goods.
Now that charcuterie boards are all the rage, HaveUHeard that Hickory Farms also has some great gift baskets priced from $34.99? You can gift a cheeseboard serving set or splurge for the Ultimate Charcuterie Experience Gift Basket.
There is also the option to order a beautifully prepared board to be delivered. Now that I know that college kids appreciate it, I may send a curated gift box for her next celebration. We have heard great things about these gourmet gift boxes and cheese plates and this one even comes with a wooden board. Many local places make charcuterie boards now too. They can easily be delivered via Instacart or Shipt.
And then there is the wine to go with it…if they are over 21, of course. They can even have that delivered too from just about anywhere they choose through Drizly. Pass the crackers and cheese and pass on these great tips, tell your friends and like us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find out more about how to use HaveUHeard as a great resource. Sign up for other great tips at haveuheard.com.