How to Build an Epic Charcuterie for Your Summer 2020 Picnic

Cheese and charcuterie platter on a picnic table.

Charcuterie boards are a way of life for us here in Oregon wine country. An epic charcuterie board is easy to do, but it does require a bit of planning. Don’t sweat it, though. By following these simple guidelines, you’ll become a pro in no-time.

Alp Blossom Cheese.

For a well-rounded cheese board, I always make sure I have pairings that satisfy both salty & sweet tastes, as well as creamy & crunchy textures.I start building around what cheeses I have or wish to use. When building this charcuterie board, I couldn’t pass up the gorgeous Alp Blossom cheese I saw at the grocery store. It’s from Cowgirl Creamery, and is made from  I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover but, I admit, my interest was initially piqued by this cheese simply because of the edible flowers on the rind. I’m a sucker for colorful things and the rind on the Alp Blossom is absolutely gorgeous.

I rounded out my cheese + charcuterie with a Blue Stilton, and cubed Feta. I almost always include Feta in my summer cheese boards because it’s a crowd-pleasing cheese, and one that pairs well with other accoutrements like olives, hummus, or cherry tomatoes. When offering up cheeses that can be a little adventurous for some, it’s always good to have some “safe”, milder options like feta.

With our Alp blossom, Stilton, and feta, I added olives to round out the salty components. To balance with sweetness, I added Hood strawberry jam, dried Figs and dried currants.

Cheese and charcuterie board.

To satisfy the need for crunch, I opted added sliced apples, and Oregon-grown hazelnuts. I also always like to include something spicy in my cheese board. This one included pineapple habanero jam (made locally by Eggimann farms) and a couple of Nasturtium flowers from my garden. The edible flowers add so much flair to any cheese plate and are such an interesting talking point!

There you have it! Our quick and dirty rules to make sure you hit all the major necessities of an epic cheese or charcuterie spread. Happy noshing!

Maija Teppola

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