9 Unconventional Ways You Can Be a Charcuterie Master that People Will Love You For

If I could have one wish it would be for all my meals to sustain a level of savory and sweet choices that have an infinite array of combinations. And if you have ever hovered over the meat and cheese platters as I have at most social engagements, you could appreciate the delight when the Maple Mustard pairs beautifully with the Cured Rabbit Sausage. It is not only the array of flavors that is appealing to the senses, but the vibrant variation of colors and textures.

Charcuterie boards, or let’s simply call it charcuterie, is not a new thing. They have been around for hundreds of years. It’s only until recently that America has got caught up in the trend.

Before we get to the here and now, here’s a little bit of a history lesson. Charcuterie is derived from the French words for flesh (chair) and cooked (cuit). The word was used to describe shops in 15th century France that sold products that were made from pork, including the pig’s internal organs. However, the practice of salting and smoking meats to preserve them dates back about 6,000 years to ancient Rome. Charcuterie is rooted in the belief that nothing from the animal should be wasted; not even the heart, lungs, kidneys, fat, or brain.

But lets look beyond the meats and cheeses for a quick minute and consider alternatives.

Whether you are dining, entertaining, or cuddled up on the couch for a night in these Charcuterie alternatives will most definitely not disappoint!

1. Dessert Charcuterie

Dessert Charcuterie Board {How-To Guide}| Favorite Family Recipes

You can apply whatever holiday theme you like with this idea! Whether its a Valentines, Easter, or you are need of an Ice Cream Sundae extravaganza-the options are limitless!

2 Hot Chocolate Charcuterie

Recipes, Menus, Food & Wine | Hot Cocoa Charcuterie Boards Are a Thing, and  They're Filled With Marshmallows, Cookies, and More | POPSUGAR Food

No matter how old you are, this board will be sure to bring the brightest of smiles to the coldest of hearts. Pro Tip: Add some flavored liqueur shots like Bailey’s Red Velvet Cake, or Kahlua and let the good times roll!

3.Breakfast in Bed Charcuterie

11 Gift Ideas for a Date Night At Home

Probably my hands down favorite as breakfast is my personal cup of tea- especially when it looks like this! You won’t want to skip this meal of the day. If your a total genius, serve this as a Breakfast for Dinner option as well.

4.Hot Diggity Dog Charcuterie

Creative Party Platters That Are Better Than Charcuterie Boards - Forkly

Bring the Ball Park Nostalgia to your backyard this summer. Hot Dogs can be as gourmet as you desire with an assortment of Honey Garlic, Chorizo, or Smoked Cheddar Smokies.

5.Grilled Veggie Charcuterie

Epic Grilled Veggie Platter – healthyGFfamily.com

Charcuterie doesn’t always mean heavy on the salts and fats-Grilled Veggies can be marinated and seasoned in so many ways that provide you with the same variations of flavors that any traditional board can offer.

6.Wing Night Charcuturie

Hot Wing Board - Your Next Superbowl Food Idea! | Kelley Nan

Wing Wednesdays never looked this appetizing. Take a classic pub food favorite and put your own twist on it in the comfort of your own home. Go ahead, lick those fingers and spill that hot sauce on yourself, there’s no one there to judge!

7. Seafood Charcuterie

How To Make A Fresh Seacuterie Board • Tasty Recipes - YouTube

Such a perfect option for a romantic beach picnic or brunch at home with close friends. Serve your oysters with a little red wine vinegar and shallots, or opt for rock salt and lemon? There is no wrong combination with these choices.

Pickle Lovers UNite Charcuterie

How to Build a Pickle Board | Tasting Table

There will be no sour faces despite this pickle platter party. As an alternative take your pickle platter to the next level with some Asian inspired pickled delights like Kimchi and Oi Muchim.

9. Chip TruCk TRAY CHarcuterie

Check Out These Unconventional Charcuterie Boards | SheSpeaks

This savory buffet of carbohydrate delights would be anyone’s late night munchie dream. But with a little bit of prep your dream can come true with the flick of an oven switch and raiding the condiment shelves of your refrigerator.

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Friday Date Night YYC: Down the Rabbit Hole

So this last Friday night My Honey Bear and I were joined by a couple of friends for another date night in the YYC. Our destination the Calgary Food Events Series: Foodies in the Park, Wonderland Dome Dining. I have been anticipating this event for a long time as I’ve always had a deep connection with the story of Alice in Wonderland by British Author Lewis Carrol. My intrigue embedded in the motifs and symbolism of the characters and lessons within the seemingly childlike story of Wonder. If you are not familiar with them I encourage you to explore further as they have played a significant role in finding resolve within many epiphany’s I have encountered in this life.

Themes and Motifs

In addition, the continuous stream of good reviews and beautiful pictures had me counting down the days and hours, ready to find madness at any expense. It was not only the dining experience I was excited for the but the overall soiree of dining in a literal winter wonderland. And unlike any other winter wonder land us Albertans are used to, this was an Alice in Wonderland themed one!

Date nights for me are always an opportunity to take the tags off a new cute outfit and dawn some new heels. In a Covid world these occasions are few an far between, so when this gal can throw on her sequins and lashes, you bet she pulls out all the stops. So prior to leaving for our date night, I was reminded by Practical Pete the Fashion Fun Police several times to dress warm and opt for the less dangerous foot attire as he shook his head at my original thigh high healed boots I had been itching to wear. And not knowing the level of comfort we would be experiencing inside the dome we came equipped with blankets gloves and scars ready to endure the -11° weather. Never mind that we had experienced an October snowstorm that whole day so the drive there in itself an adventure.

When we arrived at Fish Creek Park in Calgary, site of the the well-established Bow Valley Ranche restaurant is located. See my previous Friday night YYC Date Night post on this special heritage Farm House dining experience.

And to my disappointment, I most surely could have absolutely worn the boots as we proceeded to take a little walk towards the event area on the freshly shoveled paths. Anticipation escalated as the lights twinkled in the distance. Our journey down the rabbit hole was accented by the colonial style street lamps that took me back in time when lovers would stroll in Hyde Park. All bundled up we strolled collectively arm and arm, our heads decorated appropriately for a Mad Hatter party like no other. Our manly escorts who were initially perplexed by our wardrobe decisions that evening, now understood what all the pomp and circumstance was over. They too were realizing perhaps they were underdressed for the exclusive invitation at the one and only Red Queen’s table; their heads would surely the first to roll!

When we approached the gates of Wonderland we were greeted by A Gourmet Hot Chocolate Stand where you can sip on decadent chocolate nectar that created a child like sense of nostalgia for myself. We wove through the crystal white garden corridors towards our little snow covered dome, which was now resembling an igloo from the snowfall. The inviting glow of the other mad ones indulging in the delights intrigued my senses even more. When the little door to our personal wonderland was opened as if I had taken the sip from the “Drink Me” bottle shrinking me further into the rabbit hole. The dome was delightfully warm, equipped with heating, and there was no need for the layers we had brought.

Did I mention, I could have definitely worn the boots.

The setting was authentically decorated with the kind of tasteful magic you’d expect at the Red Queens table. The men allowed us to squeal with excitement- in fact they were squealing internally I’m sure of it. Our server “C.V.” was exceptional- he aimed to entertain and indulge in the experience with us. We were never in need of anything as he catered to our every request- even providing us sugar cookies to take home with us to the children who were tucked away in bed as the adults played.

“It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

.

The Menu is preset upon booking your tickets for the event-with us dining on a variation of Beat Salad plated like a backwards clock, roasted duck, beef tenderloin, salmon and cod. Desert was an assortment of naughty delightful tarts. The signature cocktails packed a powerful buzz to ignite fun and laughter filled conversation throughout the night. We were sure to incorporate our escalating gitty-ness with mounting shenanigans that truly were as Mad as a Hatter could get.

When in Rome!

“We’re all mad here.”

-The Cheshire Cat

This event I would attend religiously now that I had the opportunity to experience it. Many ask is it worth it? Well of course it is as you are factoring in the price of an entire “experience “ which when you consider how much you spend on just a night at a restaurant, movies or nightclub, it wouldn’t even come close in value! It ends November 1st, so if you are able to squeeze into a remaining reservation don’t miss this! There is even for the afternoon tea option I highly recommend if dinner is not an option!

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

-Alice

Sadly our evening came to an end in which I felt as if time had stood still until the clock struck midnight. We were all just beaming with delight and so grateful to have had the opportunity to share in this experience. Our night did not end there, and was quickly followed tucked cozily into bed watching the Disney Tale from in the comfort of my pajamas. I simply cannot wait for the next time Foodies in the Park does another event like this!

If you enjoyed this Tale of sorts please continue to come by and visit for more adventures in the life of CeCe D. Drop a line, give me feed back, let me know what you think!

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