Charcuterie boards have graced fine tables for centuries. Quite literally, the French word ‘charcuterie’ was originally ascribed to shops that sold cured pork products. The modern board is evolved from a plank heaped high with fine cheeses and meats to an artistic exercise in pairing and curation, limited only by imagination. There are no rules.
Boards can be crafted for any meal occasion, from breakfast to dessert.The objective is to create new taste experiences, contrasting unique flavours, textures and tones to draw guests into an experience. No longer merely an appetizer or party food, boards are being used as a deconstructed way of serving a main course reminiscent of family-style dinners, as experiential dessert tasting buffets and as gorgeous, regionalized works of art delivering a true taste of place and season.
These boards were created by Afrim Pristine, Maître Fromager and Ontario Cheese Ambassador. “I’m really proud of these boards. They showcase the extraordinary moment we’re enjoying in Ontario cheese and agri-food.The cheeses on these boards are world class. They’re sourced from artisanal cheesemakers across the province and are perfectly paired with the beautiful products and produce that we’re so fortunate to have in our own backyard. A lot of people don’t realize the exceptional quality and variety of the cheese produced right here in Ontario. It’s not just Cheddar anymore. We have Brie, Gouda, blue and endless well-made and farmstead cheeses that are winning global awards and recognition.”
“What I love most,” says Pristine, “is the integration of small tasting dishesonto boards. These sides, sauces, dips and fermented elements bring a new level of culinary creativity to the experience. The contrasting tastes and textures bring out the best in the board feature elements –the cheeses, the meats. These small touches bring the personality of the board artist to the forefront and truly personalize the board. It’s like a biography –who you are, where you’ve been and what you love, all in a single frame. In my opinion, boards are the new love letter.”