I absolutely adore a good cheese and meat spread. It is hands down one of my favorite appetizers. I honestly could have that for my dinner and be happy. I often get requests about my favorite meats and how I choose cheeses for my platters so I thought I would break it down and share a few tips.
pictured above : raincoat crisps, kalamata olives, rustic flatbreads, manchego, hummus with olive oil and pine nuts, salami, green hill cheese, sopressata, comte, black truffle salami.
My cheese boards typically have 5 components:
1) meat 2) cheese 3) crackers 4) spreads 5) extras
I like to do 3 cheese and 3 meats typically.
As far as meats and I can't stress this enough they are so much better if you have them freshly sliced. The pre-packaged kinds are just not as good. The deli counter at most grocery stores at least has prosciutto and salami options but if you can find a gourmet grocery go that route for sure! In Charleston Goat Sheep Cow is my favorite and in Charlotte I love Reid's Fine Foods and Dean and Deluca. They both have excellent charcuterie selections and the people that work there are super helpful as far as suggesting items that pair well together.
O N E | M E A T S
a few of my go to meats are:
T W O | C H E E S E S
I like to do a hard, semi-soft and soft option
Semi Soft Cheeses
anything that says triple cream, usually the round cheeses
T H R E E | C R A C K E R S
I like to serve 2 different cracker types.
These are a few favorites but Trader Joe's has some great options too.
365 degrees (super thin)
Rustic Bakery Flatbread
Raincoat Crisps (these are salty date and almond crackers)
F O U R | S P R E A D S
I like to serve at least one spread whether it be hummus, or a jam for the cheese. A few of my go-tos are:
hummus any flavor - drizzle with olive oil and add pine nuts
Trader Joes sweet and spicy chili jam
bacon jam (pairs great with pimento cheese)
truffled mustard (great with meats)
F I V E | E X T R A S
I usually like to do a pickled veggie or olive here.
salted marcona almonds
pickled asparagus, green beans, or carrots
It is nice to have fun serving knives. I like to use a different knife for each cheese type I serve.
I like this set that comes with 4 different knives and a cute cutting board.
I love this gold set and they are currently 50% off.
W I N E
Of course you need good wine with a cheese platter. These are a few of my favorites lately. I hate any wine that is sweet. I prefer dry and slightly crisp. I always like my roses to be lighter in color. I find the darker ones are sweeter and more tart, which I really don't like. As far as whites I like sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio in the warmer months. I usually buy my wine in speciality wine stores they have a better selection and their prices are not as marked up as the grocery store.