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Entertaining Ideas – Charcuterie 101

Photography by Sarah Oden | Board from Little Rock Cheese Please | Beer from Lost 40 Brewing | Wine selection by Susie Long with Petit + Keet | Tablescape by Tipton Hurst

There are no rules when it comes to a cheese and charcuterie board, but it’s always nice to have a plan when entertaining. For a party of 8-12 guests, a selection of four cheeses and two meats with accompanying seasonal fruits, vegetables, crackers, bread, nuts, olives, pickles, and spreads is a delectable start. The goal is a presentation of a variety of savory goodness, chew and texture, rich and smoothness in order to create different and appetizing sensations with each sampling.

Include items that pair well, and consider the presentation – choosing vibrant colors or a surprise ingredient. This may include an exotic seasonal fruit or vegetable, a chocolate treat, or even styled service pieces to add a little unexpected punch of pizazz. It’s all about making it fun and enjoyable for your guests – and more importantly, easy and inviting to eat!

Wow your next guests with these items on your board this weekend:

CHEESES: Smokehaus Blue, Boursin, Merlot Bellavitano, Brie, drizzled with honey

MEATS: Salami, Prosciutto

ACCOMPANIMENTS: Sweet gherkin pickles, pitted greed and feta-stuffed olives, Mozzarella basil and tomato skewers drizzled in olive oil

EXTRAS (to show off the stars): Berries, orange slices, sliced cucumbers, sugar snap peas, dark chocolate almonds, sea salt thins, chocolate creme filled wafers,  and a variety of crackers or sliced French baguettes for delivery

Little Rock’s Cheese Please, offers four board sizes that serve anywhere from four to 16+, and can also create custom tablescapes for larger parties and corporate events. Who would not love a cheese gift with a ready-made cheese boards in a box + bow? And if you don’t have time to put together your own board, they will build and deliver it to you – even using your family heirloom service pieces.

And don’t forget the perfect beverage pairing. Little Rock’s very own Lost Forty Brewing has a wide selection to enhance those subtle smokey, nutty or fruity flavors found in your Charcuterie board elements.

Consider these beverage pairings with each cheese for your next board:

  • Dig the Ride – Trail Ready IPA + Sharp Cheddar Cheese: This beer pairs well with a sharp cheddar cheese with its citrus aromas surrounded by bursts of honey. It balances a sweet, full-bodied approach tempered with flavors of dank herbs and citrus flavors with a dry and refreshing finish.
  • The Hunter – Oktoberfest + Gouda: This light and energizing beer goes side by side with a Gouda cheese. It brims with crisp flavors of caramel and toasted bread with mild spiced notes.
  • Easy Tiger- Mexican-Style Lager + Queso or Pepperjack Cheese: This crisp Mexican-Style Lager is a thirst quencher perfect with the always party-pleaser, Queso, or any pepperjack cheese. With aromas of toasted malt, zested citrus fruit, and baked bread, Easy Tiger is the perfect cup filler for a balanced, light body beer with a smooth dry finish.
  • Squirrel Sailor – Hazy IPA + Blue Cheese: This juicy, hazy IPA is bursting with the aroma of fresh zested tangerine and flavors of orange juice, pine, and tropical fruit. It pairs perfectly with any robustly flavored cheese, cutting through with a refreshing finish.
  • 2nd Rodeo – Arkansas Light Beer + Parmesan Cheese: This light beer brewed with naturally pure Arkansas water and home-grown Arkansas rice is a great buddy for your parmesan cheeses. The light, crisp brew is low in alcohol and refreshing anytime, anyplace making an exceptionally easy drinking beer to have in hand with your cheese and crackers.

With this kind of variety of sensations, textures, aromas and flavors – along with the perfect beverage to reset + compliment guests’ palates – they will leave satisfied and amazed at how you Charcuteried.

Inviting Arkansas

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