Please note: This is a DIY charcuterie board and not available for order.
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We all know that Christmas is the occasion for entertaining with charcuterie boards. But, we’d like to suggest that Valentine’s Day is an equally ideal time to bring out that board and assemble a romantic date night spread for two.
To help make your romantic night a success, we’ve put together a little guide for you to use as a starting point. (By no means are you limited to these items.) Feel free to swap our suggestions out for old favourites or something that just caught your eye on our shelves. Use this as a tool to focus your creative shopping efforts, and bring you back to your goal of putting together a gourmet, delectable spread of local food to enjoy with your significant other (or bringing together all of your single friends). And of course, don’t forget the wine or bubbly! If you’re not much for the harder beverages, Fentimans Rose Lemonade will do.
Tip: A good way to narrow down your selection, and help you to make the tough calls on which items to select, is to choose a theme. For my own board, pictured above, I chose “sweet and wine-flavoured, leaning toward chocolates and wine flavours” to fit in with the Valentine’s Day occasion. My advice is, pick one item you know you must have, and then work your way out from there for pairings.
Board / Platter / Serving Tray. This can be as fancy or as plain as you really want it to be – feel free to dress it up with a marble slab or dress it down with a wooden cutting board, and if you’re really stuck for ideas, we’ve got some great boards at the market! Once you’ve planned out a charcuterie shopping list, you can give a good guestimate as to the size you’ll be needing.
Meats we used: Lepp’s Fennel Salami, Lepp’s Proscuitto, and Lepp’s Landjaeger.
A Selection of Lepp’s Gourmet Meats.
Portion: 100 – 150 grams of meat per person.
Without a doubt, meat is the star of the show in a charcuterie platter, given that the very definition of charcuterie is “cold cooked meats collectively.” Of course, now we use it to refer to a whole range of foods arranged on a board, complete with cheeses, dips and such. For meat, a good starting point is to select 1-2 smoked or cooked deli meat (sliced), and a sausage or salami (cut into rounds).
Cheeses we used: Little Qualicum Cheeseworks Tispy Jull, Mt Lehman Chevre, Champagne Cheddar & Golden Ears Cheesecrafters Brie.
Portion: About 200 grams of cheese per person.
1 hard, 1 soft… or as much as your heart desires. Little Qualicum Cheeseworks has great options for hard cheeses, and I’d suggest a Brie or a chevre for the soft. For two people, 2-3 is often enough – but if you and your significant other are avid cheese-lovers, feel free to add some more!
Fruit we used: Blood Oranges
Portion: 4-5oz per person
Of course in season, local is always best! You just can’t beat the full flavours of fruit that’s been picked the same day, or day before. For Valentine’s Day, it’s a bit tougher, though not impossible, to add some local love to your charcuterie. Winter Citrus (Blood Oranges & Cara Cara oranges look great for Valentine’s Day), local Abbotsford grown kiwis, BC grown pears, and BC Apples make good additions to the board. Otherwise, grapes, melons and strawberries offset the meats and cheeses very well and cuts through the overly sweet chocolates and jams you may add. Which brings us to….
We used: Solasta White Chocolate Lemon, Lavender & Pink Peppercorn, Truffle Pig Minis, Laid Back Snacks Praline Almonds, SugarSin Rose Gummies, Yogurt Covered Pretzels
Nuts, Chocolate & Candies.
Portion: About a handful of each, I know, not the most exact measurement. Add more or less as your heart desires.
I recommend choosing one of each, and if you’re looking for a way to really dress up the platter than try your hand at baking some candied nuts. Candies & chocolates are great for a sweet charcuterie, whereas Local Hazelnuts, Almonds and dried mango or dried apricots (not the candied stuff) work well for a more dinner-like approach.
We used: Taste of the Okanagan Rose Wine Jelly, Dalmatia Fig Spread, Shiraz Cranberry Sauce
Jellies, Jams, Relishes & Honey.
Portion:About 80 grams per person.
If you’re creating a board for two, you really only need one jam. That being said, you can never have too many options. Depending on your board you either go sweet or spicy, and you can ever use leftovers in your fridge (like cranberry sauce) to dress up some brie.
Oils, Balsamics and Pickled Vegetables.
Portion: Pickled Vegetables would be 4-5oz per person, oils and balsamics are just enough to drizzle.
A quality balsamic is a wonderful addition to drizzle over a pate, or a mild cheese. A wonderful DIY-addition would be some caramelized beets, for a deep earthy flavour with just a hint of sweet. For some added beauty, opt for the candy-cane beets for their bright pink colour. We also have Lepp Grown Pickles & Pickled Beans ready to go right by our cheese section in the market.
If you’re looking to create a dessert-like platter, you can skip this category.
We used: Raincoast Crisps Fig & Olive Crackers and Paul & Pippa Truffle Crackers.
Breads & Crackers.
Portion: 1-2 types of crackers, or add half a baguette.
Some favourite crackers that offer some great crunch without an overbearing flavour are Raincoast Crisps, Paul & Pippa, and Gone Crackers. Lepp’s baguette is also a must if you’ve chosen anything with an overly runny consistency – don’t let one drop of goodness get away when you soak it up with this bread.
So now, our hope is that you feel that much more equipped and inspired to compile your very own romantic charcuterie board this Valentine’s Day, for a cozy date night inside by candlelight. It should be noted, that the photos we took for this article were not professionally staged, and so we have all the confidence that just about anyone can use this advice to make a stunning platter.
Have fun, and get creative tasting all the combinations of textures and flavours you find – and don’t be afraid to try something new. You just might be pleasantly surprised, or at the very least, you and your loved one will have something good to laugh about together. Because good food and good laughter are always better when shared.