No Cooking Required: Charcuterie, Cheese and Wine

I had picked up some duck breast ham from Greens, Eggs and Ham earlier in the summer, and was intent on saving it for a special occasion. That went out the window when I decided that Saturday would be occasion enough.

The plan was to assemble a Proof-worthy charcuterie and cheese board that would include, among other things, the duck breast ham and Mack’s favourite, garlic chicken sausage from Sunworks Farm. Where better to shop for fine meats and cheeses than the Italian Centre and Paddy’s International Cheese Market?

It was insanely busy at the Little Italy location of the Italian Centre, but the many optimally efficient staff on hand managed to pare down the line quite quickly. We picked up some parma prosciutto and speck, and headed to High Street.

Though I’ve purchased cheese from Paddy’s before (12509 102 Avenue, 780-413-0367), they were always familiar commodities. This time, our visit was blind and we relied on their guidance. A friendly staff member expertly directed us to two varieties based on our specifications – allegretto (a sheep’s milk cheese from Quebec) and rougette (a creamy, mild cheese). We also bought some applewood smoked cheddar, a recommendation from Adam.

Our last stop was the Wine Cellar. We requested help to find a bottle of semi-sweet white wine – a staff person provided a few suggestions, and we settled on a German Spatlese (it was a little sweeter than we wanted, but was a smooth, easy-to-drink wine overall).

While we could have provided some accompaniments to the board – honey, applesauce, fruit – we kept it simple, and just served it with some toasted sourdough from Tree Stone Bakery (8612 99 Street, 780-433-5924). It was an indulgent (and relatively expensive) dinner, but so worth it.

Charcuterie & Cheese Board

Our charcuterie and cheese board (click through for the Flickr photo containing embedded notes)

10 thoughts on “No Cooking Required: Charcuterie, Cheese and Wine

  1. Next round, I highly recommend some sweet and salty extras to make your spread even better… my personal faves being oil/dry-cured olives and fig preserves.

  2. Bibo (formerly Passa Tempo) has a great charcuterie offering with meat selections from Oyama Meats on Granville Island, bread from Tree Stone, lovely cheeses, and of course excellent wines, for next time you aren’t in the “do-it-yourself” mood. One of my favorite cheese accompaniments is truffle honey. So easy to make and beyond delicious!

  3. I will keep the truffle honey in mind – sounds good! Bibo/Passa Tempo has been on my “to try” list for quite some time…perhaps with the Fringe being around the corner (time and location wise), I will finally stop by.

  4. I became hopelessly addicted to cheese plates while travelling through Australia last fall. Almost all had quince paste and/or dried apricots and figs as the “sweet” components. I’ve been able to source the quince paste at Paddy’s and Sobey’s on Jasper/104th.
    Sadly, not as much luck sourcing the fabulous Tasmanian cheeses, though!

  5. I love going to Paddy’s and letting them help me pick new choices for tastings. That was what Brooke did for part of my Christmas present last year and it was so much fun to have a ton of cheese to sample (with meats, nuts, honey etc.).

  6. bingofuel – we loved it! We used the rest up in a quick pasta bake yesterday…delicious!

    Court – we loved being able to sample all the cheeses at Paddy’s too! Rarely are you able to “try before you buy” anymore, it seems.

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