There is no denying that times have been challenging this year and people are spending more time than ever at home. If there’s a silver lining it’s that families have found their way back to the kitchen cooking and eating together.  With all the increased time at home, it’s no surprise 55% said cooking during COVID-19 has left them feeling fatigued. A new study of 2,000 Americans found, due to restrictions when dining out, people are eating at home more than ever and are cooking an average of nine meals a week. But Americans may be looking for more variety in what they cook and eat, as results revealed the average respondent has cooked the same meal 28 times since the start of COVID-19. If this sounds like you, it might be time to try something new! Enter the charcuterie board. If fondue was popular in the mid-1950s then charcuterie boards are the “it” culinary choice of today. Typically made up of a variety of fresh meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits, and spreads, charcuterie boards offer a little bit of everything. If you are looking for inspiration, here are some tips to get started.

Preparing a Charcuterie Board

A charcuterie board most often consists of a variety of meats and cheeses and often fruit or nuts; essentially a meat and cheese board! As you begin thinking about making the perfect charcuterie board, you will want to start thinking about different colors and textures to make it vibrant and interesting.

Meat: Estimate about 3-4 slices of meat per person when building a board.  Try to include a variety of flavors and textures for example a sliced pepper salami, a rolled prosciutto and thoughtfully piled ham.

Cheese: Choose a variety of cheeses; about 1 or 2 oz per person as an hors d’oeuvre.  Look for various hard and soft cheeses from mellow to sharp.  Cheeses are easiest served already sliced.

Bread and Crackers: Again variety is key, I like to include buttery flaky crackers, grain crackers and thinly sliced and toasted baguettes.

Fruit & Nuts: Both dried and fresh fruit will add gorgeous color and lots of flavor to your charcuterie board! As you are purchasing fruits, keep a variety of colors in mind for a beautiful board.  Nuts should be shelled and salted.

Pickles, Olives and Dips: Adding small bowls filled with dill pickles, olives, jellies, mustards and delicious dips is a great way to add some zip and flavor to your board.

Most of the items can be prepared, washed and/or sliced ahead of time meaning this easy appetizer can take just minutes to prepare.

Cheese

Sliced Monterey Jack Cheese
Sliced Cheddar Cheese
El Cortijo Manchego Wedge Cheese
Bel Gioioso Parmesan Cheese Wedge

Meat

Peppered Salame
Salami
Prosciutto
Ham

Fruit

Dried Apricots
Assorted fresh berries
Cherry tomatoes
Grapes

Crackers/Bread

Marketside French Baguette sliced and toasted
Ritz Crackers
Everything Pretzel Crisps
Artisan or Seeded Crackers

Bunting's Cedar Market is your friendly small-town market and gas station, with a big selection to offer! We smoke our own meats in 1930 smokehouse and use natural casing for our sausages. We also have a full line of groceries, fresh produce, and a deli with so many things to offer its hard to list them. Bunting's is the only gas station in Leelanau County that offers Rec Fuel for all your recreational needs. Call us at 231-228-7460 or follow us on Facebook for current specials.

Sources:
https://www.swnsdigital.com/2020/08/many-americans-are-experiencing-cooking-fatigue-while-stuck-at-home-during-the-pandemic/
https://www.spendwithpennies.com/how-to-make-a-charcuterie-board/