Charcuterie boards are an easy way to serve snacks or appetizers in a fun and festive way, and after attending a Charcuterie Class with CommonGround Iowa, I was inspired to make my own version highlighting Iowa products!
I love entertaining and am proud to be an Iowan, so why not put those two things together and create a Taste of Iowa Charcuterie Board! I love building charcuterie boards for people to snack on before the start of a party or dinner. They are simple to make and always a crowd pleaser.
At the Charcuterie Class I attended, the owners of GrazeBox, who led the class, gave us a few tips (plus taught us how to make a salami rose!). The first tip was to put your largest item on your board first and then build out from there. Second, they encouraged everyone to use odd numbers when placing items on the board, as they are more visually appealing. And the last tip was to have fun and mix and match whatever you like on your board (sweet/savory, fruit/veggie, desserts, etc.).
|Me at the Charcuterie Class with my finished box, complete with salami rose|
So with the tips from my Charcuterie Class in mind, I made a trip over to the Purple Ribbon General Store in Clarion, Iowa. This shop not only carries their own Purple Ribbon Beef products, but also a variety of other Iowa made products. I knew on my Taste of Iowa board I wanted to highlight a couple Purple Ribbon Beef products and chose their BBQ snack sticks, Jalapeno & Cheddar snack sticks and summer sausage. And a fun fact, is that all three of these products are also available through Purple Ribbon Beef's frozen beef vending machine located at their store. This is great so you can have access to their products 24/7!
Then it was time to think cheese! I am a huge fan of WW Homestead Dairy in Waukon, Iowa and was excited to see a few of their products including their Garlic & Dill cheese curds and Jalapeno Ranch cheese curds at the Purple Ribbon General Store. So I picked up a bag of each and kept shopping!
The next thing I saw that peeked my interest was a Red Hot Pepper Jelly from DeMoss Pumpkin Farm in Ames, Iowa. I love using pepper jellies as an appetizer and I knew it'd pair nicely with a Molly & You Beer Bread Mix I had at home from Sac City, Iowa.
So I brought home all of my finds, baked my beer bread and started assembling my Taste of Iowa Charcuterie Board. The first thing I put on the board was the pepper jelly because I knew it'd be the largest item. I cut the beer bread in half slices and laid them out next to the jelly. Then I added slices of summer sausage next to the bread. After that I decided to put the Jalapeno Ranch cheese curds next to the Jalapeno & Cheddar snack sticks, and then filled in the other side with full sized BBQ snack sticks and the Garlic & Dill cheese curds.
So what would you include on your own Taste of Iowa Charcuterie Board? There are so many great Iowa made proteins, cheeses, jams, dips and vegetables that the possibilities are endless. If you're looking for some more ideas check out my Sheet Pan Charcuterie Board that I love making for my kids!