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VOLUME 21 | ISSUE 1
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DIY Chartcuterie Boards
Guest Contributor Deema Elshourfa
Insurance Defence Lawyer, Evangelista Barristers & Solicitors
@deema_eats
  
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Charcuterie boards have always been popular, but social media has upped the ante. From elaborate designs to fun themes, people are exploring all the options a board can present.
It may seem as simple as putting delicious food on a wooden board, but remembering a few simple tips and tricks and supporting small businesses along the way can take it to the next level—from getting your meats and cheeses at a local grocer or butcher to finding unique spreads at restaurants selling their own, the options are limitless.
Pick Your Board
Shape and quality are often talking points, so it never hurts to invest in a good board. This is also a great way to support a local company! Many small woodworking businesses make custom boards that will really set yours apart from the rest. Etsy is a great resource for finding custom pieces—you can use filters to find small businesses in your area.
Establish a Theme
Practically speaking, having a theme can help narrow down what to put on your board. Holidays make great themes, but you can also be creative with brunch boards, dessert boards, vegetarian themes or even a particular colour you want to highlight.
Choose Your Anchors
Anchors are your main features—meats and cheeses, or if you're going the vegetarian route, various dips. Think about how many people you’ll be serving to decide how many anchors you need. Including a variety will ensure people can create different combinations with each bite (think a soft cheese and a hard cheese or spicy versus mild cured meats). A good rule is to have 2–3 different anchors for up to 6 people and adding an anchor for every couple of people on top of that.
Establish a Colour Story
Every great board has a variety of colours and textures that are thoughtfully arranged and work within the chosen theme. Finding contrasting colours and textures when you’re shopping for ingredients will create dimension to your board, and make it stand out. If you’re noticing one corner or section of your board is looking monochromatic, move items around or introduce a new and contrasting colour or texture into the mix.
Fill Empty Spaces
Make sure your board is full to the brim with goodies. To keep costs down, buy cheaper items to fill empty spaces—pretzels, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and herbs are all great options.
Allow Time to Prepare
Give yourself plenty of time for assembly. You don't want to jeopardize all of your planning with a hastily put together board! Make sure to plan ahead—cheeses should be out of the fridge at least 1 hour prior to serving so they can soften. Put your anchors down first. Then grains—this can be a baguette, crackers, chips, pita bread or a combination (I often stop by our local farmer’s market for great bread options). The next items to place on your board are spreads and pickled items like olives and pickled onions. Then place fruits and vegetables. Lastly, fill any empty space with your filler items. Once you're done, take a look at your board and make any necessary adjustments. Then serve and enjoy!
VOLUME 21 | ISSUE 1
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