Let Your Charcuterie Board Do the Heavy Lifting This Holiday Season

Let Your Charcuterie Board Do the Heavy Lifting This Holiday Season

Originally posted on Bon Appétit

For the avid at-home entertainer, the holidays are much like the Super Bowl—a high-excitement, high-stakes scenario requiring massive amounts of prep work, best approached as a team effort. If your house is the place where everyone congregates during the holiday season, then you probably already have a few tricks up your sleeve for making this time of year more fun and a touch less stressful. This year, we’ve got an unexpected secret weapon to add to your holiday hosting arsenal: going all-in on the charcuterie board.

Don’t be fooled by their simplicity; these Instagrammable boards aren’t just for grazing. With a bit of creativity, a charcuterie board can transform your entire holiday hosting game into something interactive, fun, and stress-free. There are a few basic guidelines to follow when designing your board, including using the most delicious, high-quality ingredients you can find. We like starting with a crunchy crispbread cracker as the perfect base for any topping—but not just any cracker will do.

Born out of the kitchen of a quaint Italian bakery in Seattle, La Panzanella Croccantini are the only artisanal crackers that always deserve a prime place on your charcuterie board. Deeply rooted in family tradition and expertly crafted using simple, quality ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, Croccantini crackers are the essential starting point for building the holiday charcuterie board of your dreams. Here are a few creative ways to let your charcuterie board be the star of the show this season.

Let Your Charcuterie Board Do the Heavy Lifting This Holiday Season

Follow the rule of three’s

It’s easy to go overboard when designing your charcuterie masterpiece, but the best approach is to keep it simple and focus on creating balance. There’s no need to buy seven different types of fancy cheese to wow your guests. Instead, follow the rule of threes—three meats, three cheeses, three starches, and three accompaniments. With that basic guideline as a framework, feel free to use your imagination from there. We like to start with two different savory flavors of La Panzanella Croccantini, like cracked pepper and rosemary, served alongside a sweeter option, like wild blueberry and almond raincoast crisps. You can never go wrong with cheese, but we find choosing one soft, one hard, and one wild card variety is usually your best bet. When it comes to accompaniments, the options are endless—briny mixed olives, fresh figs, or raw honeycomb are all great places to start.

Turn it into a shared tasting experience

All seasoned entertainers know it’s impossible to do all the leg work alone, especially during this time of year. Still, sometimes assigning dishes or trying to create cohesion in a potluck menu can be more stressful than helpful. Consider this option the fun, interactive solution to asking for help—the potluck, reimagined as a charcuterie tasting experience. Start by building a charcuterie board using your staple ingredients and ask each guest to bring their favorite condiment or accoutermont. When it comes time to let the grazing begin, each person gets to go around and share what they’ve brought, be it a local honey, a favorite family dip recipe, or a jar of farmer’s market jam. Sample each of these delightful additions with a crunchy La Panzanella Croccantini cracker and bask in the glory of your newest holiday tradition.

Let Your Charcuterie Board Do the Heavy Lifting This Holiday Season

With so many different meals to prepare during the holidays, choose one night where you commit to no ovens and no elaborate recipes, just charcuterie. Create several boards each with a different theme—a classic board with meats, cheeses, and original sea salt La Panzanella Croccantini crackers; a seasonal board with holiday-themed ingredients; a dessert board that embraces the sweeter side; and even a board that’s filled with creative beverage garnishes. To go the extra mile, have a suggested wine or beer pairing for each board. Your guests will have fun sampling all of the quality ingredients and you’ll have far less cleanup to do, a win-win. Everybody loves an elevated snacking experience.

This year, let the charcuterie do the heavy lifting so you can spend more time on what really matters: sharing life, love, and food. Find La Panzanella in the deli section of your favorite grocery store, located near the premium meats and cheeses, and let your holiday charcuterie adventures begin. To find them in a store near you, visit lapanzanella.com.

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