Throwing a party can be a hassle. People often stress about what to serve for appetizers.

A Meat and Cheese platter is my go-to for easy entertaining and it never fails! At Hofstedes Country Barn we bring the tastes of local farms to you. Our grocery store boasts a huge assortment of meats, cheeses and everything in between. If you are looking for a specialty item or delicacy, drop on by, we have some great ideas for your next party.

Special order your party platter or make your own.

1) Meat – Meat and cheese are king and queen of the board. When choosing your meat, look for different varieties such as Salami, Prosciutto, Spicy Calabrese Salami, and even Mortadella. These meat pairings are the perfect addition to any platter because of their strong flavours and textures. Avoid pre-packaged meats as they may contain sodium nitrates and preservatives. Look for fresh ingredients whenever possible. In terms of quantity, I suggest ordering 150 grams of three or four different types of deli meat, so that you can refill your board as needed.

2) Cheese – Just like deli meat, the best kinds of cheese are those with different smells, textures and age. Have about two to three varieties to give your guests some choices. Aged White Cheddar, Swiss, and Brie are the most common crowd-pleasers but feel free to explore; platters are a fun way to try new things! 

3) Fruit – Fruits are very easy to pair. My go-to fruit for platters is purple and green grapes. Sliced pears, figs and strawberries will also taste amazing with meat and cheese. Fruit will add colour to your platter and compliment your cheeses! 

4) Crackers and Bread – The ultimate party platter is not complete without some crunch. I love incorporating a fresh French baguette with my platter. Cut the bread into pieces and drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top. You can also try this with Rustic Ciabatta, Raincoast crisps and Taralli. The options are endless!

5) Dried Fruit, Nuts and Olives – Adding dried fruit gives guests variety, which is always important. Bulk up on dates, walnuts, pecans, dried fig and apricots and even spiced almonds. Spanish olives are also a great addition, bringing elegance to even the simplest of platters.

6) Olive Oil + Balsamic and Honey – In one jar add some honey and the second jar some extra virgin olive oil mixed with balsamic reduction or simply regular balsamic vinegar will do. The more you add to your platter, the better! Guests can drizzle honey over cheese if they prefer or dip the bread in olive oil.

 

 

Photo credits: @whatsgabycookin

By Meagan Mucha