Column: Don’t cut carbs this season


Commentary by Mark LaFay

In light of the great celebration of carbohydrates also known as the holidays, it is only fitting that we take a look at some great carby, critical charcuterie components (score 4 points for the alliteration). Crackers, bread, and toast must-haves for a successful charcuterie board. They are delicious on their own. They also serve as excellent vehicles for delivering meat, cheese, and accoutrements to your mouth. Unlike the ballpark hot dog bun, the crumble of toast and the crunch of a cracker provide additional dimension to your munching experience in addition to having tasty flavors that can be savory and sweet.

Toast is a great option for a charcuterie board. You can make your own toast by crisping up some brioche and cutting it into bite sized pieces. You could also opt to get a pre-made toast like Trois Petite Cochon Toast. These toast minis are made in France with natural ingredients and baked off into a crunchy, crumbly bite. These are great for sweet jams or savory toppings. I find the ‘crouton-esque’ nature of these toast minis to be quite pleasing.

In Northern California there is a bakery called Rustic Bakery. They make several different toasts, crackers, cookies and more. In fact, if you go to a wine tasting in California, the odds are good you will find Rustic Bakery’s flatbread crackers at your wine tasting. Its Sel Gris flatbread crackers are delicious. Thin and flavorful, these crackers pack great flavor and pair wonderfully with anything you could have on your charcuterie board. They also go great alone (and they are great for resetting your palate when wine tasting).

The water cracker is great for meat and cheese because it is thin, light, savory and generally very mild in flavor. Carr’s Water Crackers are a very popular brand and for good cause. Carr’s has been in business since 1832. The crackers are baked in a traditional brick oven, and they are thin, crunchy and tasty! Carr’s crackers are great for providing crunch without overpowering the meat, cheese or jams with additional flavor.

Whatever route you go, don’t leave off the crunch carbs from your charcuterie board.