Fig jam, honey and crowd-pleasing cheeses belong on every charcuterie board
Honey is No. 1 on the list of must-haves for Cheese Gal Cortney LaCorte, "and not one in a plastic squeeze bear," she adds
Want to wow your guests with your charcuterie board? We checked in with Nashville's Cheese Gal, Cortney LaCorte, for the five things you must have on your board.
(OK, to be completely transparent, LaCorte says she doesn't actually have any hard and fast rules for what must be on cheeseboards. Consider these LaCorte's suggestions.)
1. A really delicious honey ("and not one in a plastic squeeze bear," she adds). Also, like fruits, bees' honey is seasonal, so don't be afraid to look online all around the world for what's fresh.
2. A quality fig jam. "It's my favorite jam for sure. It can go with so many cheeses, like cheddar, brie and Manchego."
3. Crowd-pleaser cheeses, ones that most folks like. LaCorte says that list includes double cream brie, fresh goat cheese and aged cheddar. Her favorite of the moment is Humbolt Fog, which is like a blue cheese.
4. Fresh, sliced baguettes, crackers or any other "yummy vessel to get cheese into your mouth," LaCorte said.
5. A honeycomb and/or edible flowers. "They step up your plate a notch, giving it a visual kick," she said.
And first-timers, don't forget:
► Take your cheese out of the fridge 45 minutes before you serve it to get it to room temperature.
► If you use fruit, pick fresh seasonal produce. Dried fruit works, too.
► Platters matter: You can use almost anything as a board for cheeseboards — dinner plates, cutting boards, Pyrex glass, silver tray — as long as it's "really pretty," LaCorte says.
Don't have mad cheddar?:Here are Cheese Gal's tips for making charcuterie boards on a budget
Reach Brad Schmitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-259-8384 or on Twitter @bradschmitt.