How to Create the Perfect Charcuterie Board

The key to any party is a good antipasto tray. Your guests will love to pick on an array of foods before, during, and maybe even after the main course! With so many options it may be hard to pick exactly what varieties to put on your tray. We’ve got some tips on how to perfect the craft and some recommendations for what to include.

There are a few things to remember when creating an antipasto tray or charcuterie board. 

1. Balance your board

 The first is to always have a balance. It is important to have a good mix of sweet and salty items to heighten different taste buds and reach different senses. It is important to have a few meat options, a few cheese options, and some crunch

2.  Add texture

Cut your items in different shapes. This will add texture and give you more room to play on your board. 

3. Include palate cleansers

 Another thing to remember is that you need palate cleansers. When you’re eating a variety of foods, you want to have a clean palette so that you can get the full taste of the food. Wine crackers are a great addition to any tray because they won’t dehydrate you and they have a hint of vanilla to clear the taste and help you fully appreciate your food and drinks. 

4. Have fun with it

You are in charge of what goes on the board. Play with the tastes, colors, and arrangements on your board. You can get as creative as you want!

If you’re wanting to make a tray, but looking for some guidance on what items to use, look no further! I’ll walk you through exactly what was on our most recent antipasto tray.

 

The first thing we’ll start with is Parma Prosciutto. This is a salty deli meat that is easy to eat and high quality. For this tray, we got 6 slices of prosciutto from the deli, but we are going to make it go a long way. Cut each piece in quarters and roll each quarter on a bias or an angle. Rolling the meat on an angle changes the taste making it lighter and easy to chew. 

One of the items on our board is our homemade bocconcini. We chose bocconcini for a few reasons, but one of the top reasons is because we love the taste! The taste can be attributed to it’s unique features. Bocconcini  it is soft, creamy, and adds a hint of salt. It is also a contrast in color to some of the other items on our board.  

The olives we chose were castelvetrano olives. These are green olives imported from Castelvetrano, Sicily. I normally do not eat olives, but these are unlike any olive I have ever tasted! These are buttery and smooth. They are easy to snack on and have an almost sweet flavor. In addition to the taste, the green color is vibrant and beautiful on a charcuterie board. 

We then took pepperazzi or peppadew peppers. These can be found on our olive bars. They are hollow, round, red peppers harvested in Peru. They are brined in a medium spicy juice, but then glazed with a syrup to mask the natural spice of the pepper. We stuffed the hollow peppadew with honey goat cheese. The honey goat cheese acted as a creamy and sweet addition to the medium spiced pepper. 

The next cheese we added was to compliment the spice in the stuffed peppadews. To do this, we chose rattlesnake cheese. It is an aged cheddar that will affect all your tastebuds. It is made with tequila, lime, and habanero pepper. The tequila and lime are sweet and open your palate to the creaminess and softness of the cheese. When that happens, the habanero kicks in and creates a new, flavor filled experience.  This cheese does have a kick and you may not want this on your board if you are sensitive to spice. 

To get away from the spice and ready to open your pallet to the next food, we put some crackers. These crackers are made with rosemary, pecans, and raisins. They do a great job of creating a new taste in your mouth so you have a clean slate for the next tasting. 

Our next cheese is the Rustic Red Cheddar. This is a sweeter, grittier cheddar. It is a good contrast to the rattlesnake cheese because the Rustic Red is not creamy or spicy. It adds texture to the board. In addition to a different taste is the bright orange color of the cheese adds a good visual look. 

Another item we are going to use is salami. This is a little heavier than prosciutto, but cutting it on an angle again will make it a little lighter. It is another salty item that has a unique taste. 

To add a little sweetness, we are going to cut up a date and walnut cake. This cake is just pressed dates and walnuts shaped into a cake form. It is softer and has a naturally sweet taste from the dates. We are also going to use caramelized walnuts. These are sweet and crunchy. They aren’t sticky because of the caramelization process. 

Can’t forget the wine! Charcuterie boards pair well with a Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio to keep it light and balanced.

Going to make your own charcuterie board? We want to see! Send us some pictures of your creations!

From Our Family To Yours       

 

An Instagram Worthy, Delicious, and Nutritious Lunch

We live life in a hurry. We are always running out the door or from one place to the next. In our hectic lives, food can get put on the back burner, especially lunch. In the middle of a busy day, it is easy to get caught up and not have time to eat or you need something quick. This often means that you sacrifice nutrients, but not anymore! Our pre-made salads are easy to bring along with you, they are full of nutrients, and delicious!

In our prepared foods section, you will find a variety of different salads. Full of different ingredients and flavors, these aren’t your typical boring salads. They are vibrant with color and packed with taste. Our wide variety will satisfy any cravings you may have. They are made fresh daily. The dressing comes on the side so you can add as much or as little as you wish, and your lettuce is never soggy! 

One of our favorites is the greek salad. The greek salad has onions, black olives, and feta cheese with a Greek, vinegarette dressing. If you’re looking for a salad with a little bit of everything, try the chopped salad! 

The chopped salad is packed with ingredients including egg, cucumber, tomato, chicken, carrots, and more! This has plenty of greens, vegetables, and proteins to make it a complete meal. 

If you want something classic, we offer the essentials like a garden salad or Caesar salad. The options don’t stop there! We have a southwest salad, bacon ranch salad, Julienne salad, and more.

Try them out and let us know which is your favorite!

From Our Family To Yours

 

Back To School

As the summer winds down, people start to get into back to school mode. Kids start looking at their schedules. They need new shoes, new school supplies, new clothes, and more! As it gets closer, you may feel like there is so much to do and so little time. One thing you don’t have to worry about is what to pack for lunch because we’ve got your back!

One good option for lunch is hummus! Kids love hummus and it’s good for you. It’s packed with plant based proteins. The single servings are great to throw in the lunchbox and the hummus with pretzels are even easier!

There are also many different on-the-go boxes that have a variety of snacks in individual boxes. You can pick the ones that best suit your cravings. Sweet or salty options, or sweet and salty options, the variety boxes make it so you don’t have to choose! There are also variety packs of crackers. Cracker sandwiches filled with peanut butter or cheese are another good way to sneak a little protein into the lunch box. 

Bites are trays that come with a fruit, a protein, and a cheese. These are delicious and nutritious. They get a little bit of all the essentials in your diet and they are compact!

For the meat lovers, try some snack packs.  An on-the-go container filled with cheese, taralli, and salami are delicious! They are like the italian lunchables!

And if you just like salami, try these Busseto salami snack cups. They don’t need to be refrigerated, which makes it great for grab and go!

Don’t forget the drinks! Mini water bottles, juice, or milk. We have smaller version that you can throw in the lunchbox without taking up too much room. 

We have plenty of options that are good for you and delicious, so you can feel good about what you give your kids to eat!

From Our Family To Yours

Octopus Salad

   The summer heat makes us crave refreshing foods. We find ourselves wanting light options that leave us satisfied. A go-to is our homemade octopus salad! Made using simple, high quality ingredients, our homemade octopus salad is a great meal on these hot summer days! 

   Our octopus salad is made to perfection with a few different steps. We first tenderize the octopus with a machine that Angelo brought back from his hometown, Mola di Bari, Italy. Mola di Bari is a coastal town known for its fresh octopus where fishermen go out every morning to catch octopus, so we take great pride in our octopus salad.

Fisherman in Mola di Bari with his freshly caught octopus

After the tenderization process is complete, we begin the marinating process. We dress the octopus using a signature blend of spices, oils, vinegars, and vegetables. We then like to top it off with a squirt of lemon, and voilà! The result is fresh and filling octopus salad! 

The aroma of marinades, the bright colors of the vegetables, and the taste of it all makes our octopus salad delicious and refreshing! 

 You can taste our octopus salad at a few different festivals in the upcoming weeks. We will have booths at the taste of elmwood park and Little Italy Festa on Taylor Street where we will be selling our signature octopus salad. Of course, we also carry the salad in all our stores! It’s perfect for parties, barbecues, or just to keep in the fridge for yourself! 

From Our Family To Yours