With these Trader Joe's charcuterie board items, creating an impressive spread is easy, economical and creatively fun. Also included are some simple tips on selection and assembly that will make you and your guests smile and say cheese!
Creating a delightful charcuterie board with Trader Joe's offerings is an easy feat. Begin with a selection of their artisan cheeses, enhance with cured meats, add crispy crackers, nuts, dried and fresh fruits, and some jam for a board that sure to be delicious and memorable.
Charcuterie Board Products to Try
1. Trader Joe's Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onions is crafted in England on an established estate lush with pastures. With more than 40 years of traditional cheese making experience, this famed farm transforms rich, creamy milk from local grazing herds into beautiful, a full-bodied farmhouse Cheddar. Caramelized onion marmalade is blended into the Cheddar, giving it a balanced sweet-savory bite and pleasing onion aroma.
2. Trader Joe's Dolce Creamy Gorgonzola Cheese has the quintessential blue veins running through it, typical of a classic Gorgonzola, with the robust, earthy attributes you’d expect. What may surprise you, however, is how those notes mellow with a delicate, sweet finish. Before serving, let the wedge sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes so it will soften to an incredibly creamy consistency.
3. Trader Joe's Italian Truffle Cheese is made with black truffles from central Italy’s Umbria region and pasteurized cow’s milk. It’s a young cheese, aged for just 15 days, so it has a mild flavor that makes it the ideal canvas for the concentrated truffle oil and black truffle pieces that are blended liberally throughout the cheese. The truffles’ earthy, woody, musky aroma shines through. It also makes a bold statement on a cheese board.
4. Trader Joe's Raw Milk Cave-Aged Le Gruyere is an Alpine cheese with a creamy, nutty flavor not found in other cheeses. the cheese has additional maturation time than others of its type, which contributes to its taste and texture. It’s aged in extremely humid cellars to keep the cheese moist while taking on the strong, bold flavors of a cheese that’s been given time alone to age.
5. Trader Joe's Fig and Olive Crisps are miniature, toasted, bread-slices with a great crunch, enhanced by flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds. Dried Mission figs from California and brined Kalamata olives from Greece are evenly distributed throughout the crisps, offering a sweet and savory contrast. And they are finished with a hint of sea salt.
6. Trader Joe’s Freeze Dried Fig Slices come from a supplier in Turkey, the world’s leading fig-producing country. They use the Smyrna variety of fig, known for its seedy, pink flesh and pale green skin. Here, that pink, seedy interior takes on a crispy texture, and delivers the expected figgy flavors.
7. Trader Joe’s Organic Seedy Crackers are savory and hearty, with a great crunch. They are made with organic brown rice, organic quinoa, flax, and sesame seeds to which tamari is added to before baking. The results is one very crunchy and flavorful cracker -- that's gluten-free, too!
8. Grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Trader Joe's Dry-Roasted Pistachios are produced without the use of a medium like oil or water (hence, dry-roasted.) This gives each Pistachio a delightfully crunchy texture and a aturally mild, buttery flavor profile, which is accentuated by the addition of sea salt.
9. Each jar of Trader Joe's Organic Conversation Olive Trio has a mix of three distinctly delicious varieties of olives from Italy: bold, buttery, and bright green Nocellara; tender, super savory, and reddish-green Bella di Cerignola; and mild, toothsome, and reddish-purple Leccino.
10. Spicy Uncured Charcuterie Collection includes three, traditional Italian meats—all with a spicy profile. First, there's Spicy Coppa, consisting of pork shoulder that is fermented & dried 90 days and seasoned with sea salt, sugar, red pepper, black pepper, white pepper, nutmeg & cloves. Second, there’s the Spicy Sopressa, a premium pork butt, fermented & dried 60 days and seasoned with sea salt, sugar, red pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper & white pepper. Third is the Spicy Cooked Capocolla, which is cooked, then fermented & dried 15 days. It also has a “hot” profile, with seasonings that include sea salt, sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, nutmeg & cloves. All three of these cuts are Uncured, meaning that no nitrates or nitrites have been added.
Cheese Selection Tip
Aim for three to five cheeses with a range of textures and milk types. Three is plenty if the board will accompany other dishes in a multicourse meal. Opt for five if cheese will be the star of the show. (If you include too many, your guests won’t know where to start and certainly won’t remember the names of all those wonderful cheeses.) Buy about 1 oz. per person per cheese, maybe a bit more if cheese is all that’s being served.
Arranging the Cheese
Make sure to take your cheese out of the fridge a couple of hours before serving; it should be at room temperature when you serve it. Be creative, and have fun with your board choice. The serving vehicle can often be as much a source of conversation as the cheese itself. Serve your assortment on a wooden cutting board, a favorite serving plate, or a cheese board or slate.'When plating, leave oozier cheeses in one piece, including the rind, to signal that rind should be included in the bite. If it’s a creamy round packaged in a box or wrapped in spruce bark, you can remove the top rind and allow guests to dip into the cheese. For hard cheeses, it’s nice to portion for your guests so that it’s easy to grab a piece. When portioning, equal rind distribution is key. Don’t stress over it, though. If a cheese seems to want to crumble, use a paring knife to creat chunks instead of pieces.