It goes without saying, but we will anyway: a meat and cheese plate is the single best offering at any holiday gathering, but how does one begin to pick out the best options among all of those holiday gift sets? We tasked our team with compiling a list of our favorite items so you don’t have to.
Spicy sausage has a tingly aftertaste that forces us to reevaluate the meaning of the word. Though its sweet, jerky-like flavor gives it points for charm, we just can’t get over the dragon breath side effect. Pass on this one if you don’t think you can take the heat.
If it were possible to set meats in a gelatin mold, turkey sausage would be the result. We love the tangy notes of BBQ sauce and the subtle notes of kibble. If you’re looking for something to share with your four-legged companions, this is the way to go.
Summer sausage typically looks a bit like uncooked breakfast meat, but don’t let that deter you. As a bonus, they sport a healthy mix of fully and partially germinated mustard seeds. When you’re done making your charcuterie dreams come true, bury a slice of this bad boy next to your most beloved succulent and start your own mystery meat garden. This is must for fans of multi-purpose meat products.
If you have ever wondered what would happen if modelling clay were to collide with instant macaroni, look no further. Its crumbly texture makes it very pliable – which means you can mold it into any shape you please, and you don’t need teeth to eat it. Skip this if you prefer something with a bit more substance.
Cheese and Onion Blend:
Though it can be hard to identify the secret ingredient that gives this cheese its unnaturally robust flavor, we’ve got a hunch that it has something to do with whatever’s at the end of a bag of sour cream and onion chips. We’re not mad about it, and we don’t think you’ll be either.
The smoky aroma of this cheese never fails to call up fond memories of eating frozen dinners next to the campfire. More structurally sound than other cheeses, it is often comes lovingly toasted in a panini press before being shipped off to packaging – a nice touch.
For those who love spray cheese and wet, spicy chalk, this is a must-have. Every once in a while, we are lucky enough to get a batch in which the manufacturer has dropped an entire container of red pepper flakes and said “eh, happens.” This is that batch.
A charcuterie plate can be an emotional roller coaster of unfamiliar texture and taste combinations, which makes swiss cheese so delightfully unremarkable. The flavor lands somewhere on the spectrum between “meh” and “so-so,”which is exactly what you’re looking for.
Golden Toasted Crackers:
When in doubt, keep things simple. A plain, semi-stale cracker will pair well with each item in your selection and have the added value of being an aggressive palate cleanser.
This spread is the perfect marriage of baby food, mustard, and a pound of sugar. Its slippery texture glistens like a diamond in the rough, because that is exactly what it is. The uncanny likeness of fast food sweet and sour sauce makes this item a great pairing with absolutely everything. Buy several containers for your party, and keep one in your car for when a french fry craving hits.