We’ve all been there. By the end of November Christmas parties are in full swing, and if we’re not hosting a gathering we’re certainly attending with an appetizer in tow. One of the simplest, no-cook and no-bake appetizers is a good old-fashioned charcuterie board, made with a variety of dry-cured meats, local cheeses, jellies and pickled vegetables. But when it’s time to choose your meats, if you’ve stood staring at the many options at our meat counter wondering where to begin, this series is for you. From now until Christmas we’ll be showcasing “tasting profiles” on various meats and cheeses so that you can get to know the selection at your disposal. Want to follow along? Be sure to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter! Otherwise, keep checking this post because we’ll be adding to it as we release each pairing.
Lepp’s Dry Cured Pork Loin
Essentially the deli meat version of bacon, very similar in flavour and saltiness.
Buffalo Fresco by Mt.Lehman
Tangy, creamy cheese that was born to be spread across a cracker and topped with something sweet. Made with buffalo milk, which is known for it’s dense, creaminess.
Amber Mist by Snowdonia
The smoky peat tones of Scotch whisky combine with the mouthwatering mature Cheddar to create the perfect ‘grown-up’ pairing. Amber Mist® is a Nantwich International Cheese Awards gold winner.
Strawberry Jam with Balsamic & Pink Peppercorn by The Preservatory
Everything you love about a good, like-homemade jam, plus the bold flavours of pink peppercorn & balsamic, making it perfect for pairing with charcuterie.
Peppery & Smoky
Lepp’s Cervelat Salami
A traditional pork salami, smoked in house at Lepp Farm Market. The cervelat is essentially the baseline for all other salamis, so it’s a great one to start with and compare other flavoursto. It’s also a very versatile salami that can pair easily with just about anything, so if you’re choosing a cheese or topping with a bold flavour, cervelat is you’re go to!
Golden Ears Brie
A good, local brie made by Golden Ears Cheesecrafters in Maple Ridge using their own dairy. The perfect base for a relish, grainy mustard, jam, jelly or honey.
Grass Roots Peppery Gouda
A very smooth, creamy, satisfying gouda with a bit of bite and spiciness from the peppercorns throughout.
Bodega Piquillo Relish
Caramelized onions with roasted piquillo peppers make for a sweet, flavourful, mildly spicy addition to this cheeseboard, pairing nicely with the peppercorn gouda. Try baking it on top of the brie to add some warmth to the board. Taste familiar? This piquillo relish is made by Bodega on Main in Vancouver.
Sweet & Smoky
Lepp’s Hungarian Salami
A pork salami with a little tang, red wine & garlic & paprika.
Pair it with Balderson’s Double Smoked Cheddar
A medium hard cheese with a good smoky flavour, not overpowering.
Cow’s Creamery Extra Old
A hard aged cheddar with a bit of a crumble, a mild flavour. Aged for at least 18 months and is made from the milk of cows from the rolling countryside of Prince Edward Island, by the makers of COWS Ice Cream.
All of their milk comes from small farms around P.E.I and given that no point on the island is no more than 20 miles or so from the sea, with the salt air and the iron-rich red soil, all these things combine to add flavor and quality to the product.
Creamy, smooth cheese. After it’s made, champagne is added to this cheese before it’s aged again.
Silver & Green Olives
This line of olives has a variety of unique infused olives. Their Sweet Basil infused olives pair nicely with these meats and cheeses, with the sweet summery flavour of basil.
Lepp’s Mennonite Summer Salami
Cold smoked mild pork salami, made from pork raied on Lepp Farms in Abbotsford. Smokey & mild, with lots of flavour. Almost a sweet aftertaste, with a harder rind.
Best paired with something with a spicy kick like:
Smits Chili Pepper Gouda
Mild at first, with a strong spicy aftertaste.
Texture: A firm cheese with a bit of a crumble to it, a bit of a crunchy texture from the chili flakes.
Bothwell Jalapeno Monterey Jack
Subtle jalapeno flavour, quite mild.
Texture: very creamy, smooth, medium firmness.
Golden Ears Cranberry Gouda
Taste: very mild cranberry flavour, overall a mild cheese.
Fume-eh smoked olives, or smoked olive tapenade, is a great addition to this board full of flavour.
Lepp’s Rosemary Balsamic Salami with Pine Nuts
Mild salami with hints of balsamic and a strong rosemary flavour.
Pair it with a mild cheese
Grass Roots Medium Gouda
A good old-fashioned plain gouda, made with milk from 100% grass-fed cows.
Made in Salmon Arm, BC.
Taste: Mild, but still full of flavour. Complements the rosemary in the salami quite nicely.
Texture: super creamy, slightly firm
Made in Aggasiz at The Farm House with milk from their own dairy cows.
Taste: a tangy flavour that begs to be paired with a sweet & savoury jelly
Texture: super smooth, a bit fluffy (not dense), good for spreading onto a baguette.
This chevre goes great with Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly by Taste of the Okanagan.
Lepp’s Dried Wine Chorizo
This Spanish Chorizo is made from Lepp Farm raised pork, handcrafted into a natural casing. Made with red wine from Road 13 in Oliver, BC, Canada’s #1 Winery of 2018 (Awarded by WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada).
mild Spanish Chorizo with paprika & hints of oregano
Taste: Mildly spicy, very savoury with prominent paprika flavours and hints of oregano.
Texture: Smooth yet firm
Tipsy Jill by Little Qualicum Cheeseworks
Handcrafted with milk from grass-fed cows on Morningstar Farm, Vancouver Island.
Taste: mild, with distinct yet soft red wine marbling.
Texture: smooth, semi-firm, easy to slice
Lady Jane by Farm House
Lady Jane is a cow’s milk cheese produced by The Farm House Natural Cheeses in the Fraser Valley. Taking inspiration from French Chaource, they have crafted this beautiful soft-ripened (brie-like) cheese from their family’s herd of Guernsey and Brown Swiss cows. Lady Jane has a cheesecake like creamy and dense paste with a tangy flavour. Pair it with a glass of Prosecco.
Taste: Quite tangy, hints of grass. Pairs well with sweet pepper jellies, or summer jams.
Texture: creamy, dense and soft-ripened. Similar to cheesecake, but slightly runny.
Other Pairing Suggestions:
Try these on a board with Taste of the Okanagan Sangria Wine Jelly. Smear the Lady Jane cheese onto a baguette slice, and top generously with Sangria Wine Jelly.
Lepp’s Fennel Salami
Made from Lepp’s own farm raised pork, dry-cured, aged for 2 months, cold-smoked in our smokehouse overnight.
Taste: a bit spicy, with black pepper, garlic, and fennel seeds
Texture: smooth, very thin slices
Chef Nick’s recommendation for pairing with other meats is to choose a poultry, like a chicken, turkey or duck deli meat. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with our housemade Whiskey Smoked Duck Breast!
When looking for a cheese to pair with our fennel salami, you want a cheese with a sharp flavour to it, like an aged cheddar. Below are two suggestions!
Mt.Moriarty Cheese by Little Qualicum
Handcrafted with milk from grass-fed cows on Morningstar Farm, Vancouver Island. Aged 18 months.
Taste: Full, rich flavour, a sharp start and a creamy finish
Texture: firm, creamy
Aged Goat Cheddar by Mt.Lehman
Small batch, made with Abbotsford from local goat’s milk, aged 12 months.