The 7 best meat and cheese gift baskets of 2021
Art by Michael Stillwell
Planning a party isn’t always easy. You should create a menu and guest list, taking into account dietary restrictions and any social issues that may arise due to misguided seating arrangements. Why not take at least some of the hassle out of the equation by ordering a platter of meat and cheese from one of America’s top suppliers? This will ensure that the guests have something to savor before they sit down for dinner. Otherwise, if you’re invited for a night out, what better way to say thank you or start the night off with a gift basket full of meat and cheese to enjoy early in the evening.
“The cold cuts and the cheese were made for each other,” Cabot Cheese proclaims on its website. As a cheese expert Liz thorpe Explain in Serious Eats, “If you’re making a nice cheese plate, you might want more than cheese on its own. Honey, fruit, and crackers are pretty easy additions. But jerky adds substance and weight. cheese like nothing else. ”That weight can come from whole muscle meat, like prosciutto, or enclosed meat, like salami. As with cheese, it’s good to consider a mix of textures and flavors when putting together your selections. Also remember the adage “what grows together goes hand in hand”. Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma, for example, are a great pairing as both come from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy.
Now, thanks to retailers offering nationwide shipping services and to sites like Goldbelly making it easy for them, you can have some of the best meat and cheese platters sent right to your doorstep. Here are the best selections to order from top vendors, like Eli Zabar in New York City, Oakville Grocery in Napa Valley, and Blackberry Farm in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. Enjoy your meal!
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New Yorkers have known that Zabar’s has been a go-to for food gifts of all kinds – from black and white cookies to smoked salmon and cold cuts – since it opened on the Upper West Side in 1973. This charcuterie kit, which serves six serving eight, includes three types of sliced salami (hot, sweet, and infused with truffle and fennel); either prosciutto or lombo depending on availability); slices of dried lardo; fresh pickles; and Eli’s crisps and savory crackers.
The MVP: the most valuable board
Founded in Greenwich Village, New York in the 1960s, Murray’s Cheese now has stores in Kroger supermarkets across the country in addition to its three branches in New York. With its selection and team of expert cheese makers, it’s easy to see why the brand has taken off. For a complete introduction to Murray’s, try their most valuable platter. The behemoth offering serves eight to ten and comes with two and a half pounds of cheese and eight and a half ounces of meat. Cheeses include Murray’s Cave Aged Gruyere, Cabot Cellars At Jasper Hill Bound Cheddar, Humboldt Fog, Taleggio and Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese; the meats are Creminelli Wild Boar Salami and Prosciutto San Daniele. To top it off, you’ll also have Castelvetrano Olives, Cranberry Pistachio Crisps from Jan’s Farmhouse, and Z Crackers Sea Salt and Olive Oil Crackers.
Italian salami sampler with red gift box
Elias Cairo founded Olympia Provisions in Portland, Oregon in 2009 after growing up as a first generation Greek-American with a father who made deli at home. As Oregon’s first USDA-approved salumeria, Olympia Provisions makes deli meats using Old World techniques. This sampler includes four flavors: Cacciatore (a classic Italian hunter’s salami with caraway, cilantro, dried red chili and black pepper); Finocchiona (a traditional Italian salami with garlic, black pepper and fennel); Salami Nola (a coarsely ground Italian salami with black pepper, chili flakes and allspice); and Sopressata (a classic Italian salami with cloves, oregano, garlic and chili flake).
Cheese and charcuterie pairings for red wine
If you want to pair a meat and cheese platter with red wine, Oakville Grocery has you covered. The Napa Valley institution, which opened in 1881, is surrounded by some of the best wineries in America – perhaps the world – so its owners know how to create a winning combination. This one comes with two cheeses, Point Reyes Toma and McKinley Cheddar; two meats, Prosciutto San Daniele and Oakville Grocery Salumi; and Castelvetrano olives, Turkish apricots and Marcona almonds.
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Taste of the farm gift box
Blackberry Farm, in Walland, Tennessee, has long been a T&C favorite. The Smoky Mountains Resort is an epicurean’s paradise, and now you can see why it’s shipped right to your doorstep. The ingredients in this gift set are all made at the award winning James Beard Farm. They include two seasonal cheeses, mutton chili cheese, sweet hot mustard, blackberry shortbread cookies, blackberry jam, blueberry jam, buttermilk cookies, smoked onion jam, pickled okra with tomato and a Blackberrry Farm Cookbook and cap. Sorry – Blackbery Farm puppy not included.
Artisanal cheese platter
This Zabar cheese kit comes on a wooden board perfect for serving at your next party. Offers may vary, but you’ll get two pounds of cheese, including one American selection, two French, and one Swiss. Also included in Eli’s Raisin Pecan chips, savory cheese shortbread crackers and a jar of pepper jelly.
Terza cheese and cold meats platter for 3-4
West Palm Beach-based CheeseBoarder offers a variety of cheese and cold cuts boards on Goldbelly. Twenty ounces of cheese and cold cuts accompany the specialty toppings, crackers and bamboo cutlery that make up this kit. Cheeses include Wensleydale Cranberry, Huntsman 2-Layer, and Sage Derby; the cold cuts are Salami Calabrese and Sausage Truffa Secca, and the condiments include dried Turkish figs, dried passion fruit, a mixture of Italian olives, almonds with Marcona truffle, dried strawberries, candied nuts, almonds coated in chocolate and crackers.
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