Meat and Chease boards are so good.
If you’ve never experienced something like this, I suggest you go and get one. Find a sweet spot that does their own charcouterie and drop 20+ on it. you’ll thank me.
My favorite thing about a really good M&C plate is how simple it is. There isn’t any flash, no noices or weird gimicks. It’s just honest. It’s the restaurant saying, “here are all of the ingredients for a sandwich. you are welcome.”
The thing that sets appart a M&C plate from a sandwich is the insanely fatty and intense charcouterie and cheese, and of course some really good toasted bread.
The bread is one of the most important parts of the plate. It tends to be the main vessel (unless crackers are involved) and the quality is super important. you want bread that someone cares about, naturally levened, beautiful crumb and crust. Good bread is hard to find, but it makes the experience so much better.
One of my favorite things to do with a board is to make little sandwiches. Half of the fun is trying different combos of your meat and cheese. Everything has different textures, different tastes. Some things are pretty salty, other things extraordinarily creamy and light. and they’re almost always different, or shockingly familiar.
I look for a couple of things in a really good M&C plate.
There has to be contrast in texture, flavor and preperation. there should be something crunchy, something soft, something melty, something fruity. It kind of sounds like the old wedding saying. I forget how it goes for the most part but I know it has something blue in it.
The best plates are made with care, and if you can find place that makes their own charcouterie, or sources really beautiful cheese, you have a winner. Find the things that make you slightly uncomfortable, spring for that lardo, take a chance on brie, always get the foi gras pate, and if someone made a terrine, get that. Because the kind of Chef that enjoys making terrine’s is the kind of terrine you want to eat.
The differences matter. It’s the contrast between sweet and savory, intense and acidic, mellow and agressive. As you eat you should be looking for the best combo’s, and if you’re enjoying one of these killer apps with someone else, which you should, M&C plates taste better with someone else.
Every time I get one with my ladyfriend or with anyone around me, it always deteriorates into shoving different combos into eachothers face trying to outdo the other. It’s a ton of fun.
If you go with someone who is unfamiliar with charcouterie, you can also have a lot of fun trying to teach them the correct way to say charcouterie. The first time I took my mom for some I spent a good 30 minutes teaching her how to say the word Which waws fantastic.
For anyone that doesn’t know, Here is the dictation from dictionary.com, [shahr-koo-tuh–reez, shahr-koo-tuh-reez; French shar-kytuh–ree]. Good luck, I believe in you.
At the end of the day, go get a charcouterie plate.