Food
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Cheese and Charcuterie for the New Year!

The New Year is fast approaching and this will be my last post of 2014!  For today I figured I’d write about one of my favourite ways to snack over the holidays; cheese and charcuterie plates.  Our schedule over the holidays is definitely more lax, so late breakfasts don’t leave us hungry when it comes around to lunch time.  Rather than having a whole meal, we whip together an assortment of cheese and charcuterie.  Here are some of my tips and tricks on mixing it up!

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First of all, this is where it all begins.  I like going to a restaurant supply store like Aubut in Montreal or Bourassa in the rest of the province.  In Ontario, the only places I’ve seen with a big selection of cheese for such an occasion is Loblaws and the Saint Lawrence Market.  The Saint Lawrence market actually has a huge selection of original cheeses like mentioned in my earlier post like aged wine, stout, and many others.

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Second, texture is important.  It’s never enough to have only hard or only soft cheeses.  I’ve had a huge realization on the impact of texture in our food in the past few months.  Even though you won’t be having a bite of soft and hard cheese in the same mouthful, it’s still necessary to have a selection.

It’s also nice sometimes to add a little on top of a cheese.  For example, a super simple way to elevate a soft ricotta is by drizzling some honey using a thyme branch for a little bit of an earthy undertone and grind up a few coffee beans to sprinkle on top.  The combination of sweet and bitter flavours becomes a perfect accompaniment with the creamy and rich cheese.

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Third, just like tartare, you need enough crackers and baguette.  Another selection here is also necessary!

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Fourth, it’s so easy to arrange charcuterie meats into pretty patterns to go in between the cheese and it makes it a little fancier; just for fun.  (This is one of my favourite parts of the arranging)

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Lastly, I can’t really say no to a glass of bubbly; it brings it all together.  Happy New Year all!

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