Skip the over-booked restaurants and overpriced prix fixe menu, and make Valentine’s a night to remember with help from Columbus Craft Meats. Charcuterie is super-popular right now for many reasons, but for a date it fits because it’s a perfect shareable snack-able experience that you can prepare according to your own tastes.
Evan Inada, our expert charcutier at Columbus Craft Meats, came up with two boards perfect for Valentine’s Day — although they’d be equally good for any night you want to turn into a special occasion.
- COLUMBUS® Secchi
- COLUMBUS® Rosette de Lyon
- Fresh strawberries
- Fig spread
- Raincoast Crisp
Assemble on decorative board and pair with a sparkling Rosé.
FOR WOW FACTOR: Pour jewel-like fresh pomegranate seeds either around or inside a round of brie for a gorgeous board centerpiece with tart-meets-creamy flavor experience.
Hearts on Fire
- COLUMBUS® Cacciatore
- COLUMBUS® Coppa
- Round of Chevre cheese
- Raincoast Crisp and/or Marcona almonds
Assemble on decorative board and pair with a Rosa Regale – the most widely available brand of Brachetto d’Acqui, a lower-alcohol Italian red sparkling wine known for its rich, semi-sweet berry taste.
FOR WOW FACTOR: An element showcased just for the home chefs is the flame-toasted Chevre in Hearts on Fire. We used a small handheld butane torch to lightly brown the top layer. This mellows the tang of the cheese, letting softer buttery notes come through, while giving the first few bites a perfect melty mouth-feel.
Remember: We create boards based on available ingredients, theme, and what our guests enjoy eating. If you want to follow step-by-step, bon appetit. Otherwise, let your taste buds be the guide.
Tips For Creating Your Perfect Charcuterie Board
- First, choose the meat and the cheese. Great flavor partners:
- a mild salami with a creamy soft cheese.
- a natural-casing aged salami with a bold and nutty semi-soft cheese
- Next, choose items with acid and a couple with crunch to complement.
- Go with your own palate — if cornichons and olives don’t suit you, opt for fresh thin-sliced radish or a tart fruit.
- If crackers aren’t to your taste, opt for salted or candied nuts.
- Berries are always in style, but if you can’t find good fresh ones in the winter season, look for something dried: chocolate-covered cherries, dried apricots, strawberry preserves
More Drink Pairings
For beer drinkers: a Belgian-style ale is a perfect pairing—its fruit and spice notes complement what’s on the board.
For cider drinkers: slightly drier than other fruit ciders, a pear cider’s crisp effervescence cuts through food flavors nicely.
If you’re alcohol-free this holiday: a lightly fruit-infused sparkling water will refresh and restore.