Hosting the Holidays



Whether you’re hosting friends for the dinner, or having a simple cocktail party, charcuterie boards or spreads are great options to incorporate a variety of different flavors and can be visually appealing, as well. “My favorite thing about charcuterie is that there are no rules,” says Amy Burritt, co-owner of Euphoric Cheese Shop with Cheri Intveld. “You can create something that will appeal to anyone in your group.” 

Start with cheese and work your way out. “Anywhere between three and eight different kinds of cheese is great. You want a variety of textures and milks,” she says. Charcuterie offers the luxury of easily catering to many different dietary restrictions all at once, without needing to make dozens of different kinds of dishes, or needing to contact every guest in advance about it. 

Add in a variety of meats to compliment the flavors of the cheese. From there, add what appeals to you. Include fresh fruit, crackers, dried fruit, olives, nuts, pickled ingredients, and of course, something sweet. And while some say it’s wise to avoid citrus, Amy disagrees: “Sometimes citrus is a good fit for the holidays, and there are some cheeses that pair really well with citrus.” 

Above all, Amy says, put together a board or spread filled with things you like, but do it in advance: “Have everything ready so that you can relax and enjoy.” And don’t worry about cheese sitting out for hours at your party. “Cured meats and cheese are hardy,” she says. “Just be careful of spreads.”

Oh, and don’t forget to plan your appetizer menu with your cocktail menu in mind; cohesiveness matters.

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