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    Kyoto Style Cold Brew Coffee Makers.

    Kyoto Style Cold Brew Coffee Makers.

    Whether you’re a Brewbie (brewing newbie) or a seasoned  Barista, the gravity fed method of brewing coffee is a diverse and unique way to craft artisan coffee.  What I’m talking about are the cool looking towers of wood and glass, displayed prominently in many coffee shops and coffee aficionado’s homes around the world- Kyoto Style Coffee Tower.

     

    So what is a Kyoto style coffee tower and what’s it do?

    First, I’ll cover what Kyoto style coffee is. Kyoto Style Coffee is a slow drip brewing process first made popular in Japan a few centuries ago. According to the source of all knowledge on the internet, wikipedia, it states: 

     

    “Cold brew coffee originated in Japan, where it has been a traditional method of coffee brewing for centuries. Slow-drip cold brew, also known as Kyoto-style, or as Dutch coffee in East Asia (after the name of coffee essences brought to Asia by the Dutch), refers to a process in which water is dripped through coffee grounds at room temperature over the course of many hours.”

     

    Unlike immersion style coffee making processes commonly called “toddy”, which submerges bagged coffee grounds in water for 10 to 24 hours, Kyoto style cold brew coffee is made by slowly dripping water onto coffee grounds via a gravity fed system using a drip rate valve and a large container of cool to cold water.

     

    This process, depending on water temperature, coffee grind coarseness, drip rate, bloom of the coffee (pre-saturating the coffee grounds before adding them to the secondary glass container) and other factors, can make this process go relatively quickly or painfully slow. We’ve had some go in 4 hours and others go up to 16 hours. The average for a good tasting  cold brew we’ve done is 6 to 8 hours. For a great cold brew concentrate, 10 to 16 hours is what we’ve done.

     

    Thats another great part of using a Kyoto coffee maker, it can be used to make cold-brew or it can be used to make cold brew concentrate.  Cold-brew itself is higher in caffeine than espresso, but slightly less than a brewed cup of coffee. Its a great balance between the two.

     

    Cold brew concentrate on the other hand, which is made by a longer steeping time of the water through the grounds, and a very slightly finer ground coffee, has a smooth but strong taste and more caffeine until its diluted with either water or your favorite type of milk.

     

    One note I wanted to mention from trial and error is, don’t use too fine of grounds. For some reason, if the grounds are too fine, water tends to pool on top of the grounds and just sits there. We’ve found a 6.75 to 7.25 on the grinder seems to be a great balance.

     

    Also cold brew has some great potential for health benefits  as studies are starting to show. I’ll get into some of that info near the end of this blog.
    The other excellent part of drinking cold brew is the taste and cost. 

     

    This method doesn’t heat the coffee grounds, so the bitter acidic aspects that come out in brewed (and then iced) coffees tend to have. Cold brew tends to be smoother and release more of the sweet notes with a deeper, richer flavor profile. 

     

    A lot of times you’ll have a chocolatey berry note followed by something slightly sweet and floral that comes out.  Again, all of this depends on how the beans are roasted and what area of the world the beans come from, and other factors. 

     

    You realistically could use the same grounds from the same bag of coffee and on one day, depending on room temperature, water temperature and the other factors I listed earlier- bring out totally different notes in the coffee from day to day.

     

    Experimenting with a cold brew tower is just fun!  We’ve added fresh mint from the garden to the Ice water drip, and that carried through to the final product- that we cut the concentrate with a teaspoon of simple syrup and sparkling water, adding a mint leaf for garnish.

     

    Have fun, play around and see what unique ideas you can do to create an unusual brew! 

     

    Kyoto Style Coffee Brewers make a lot of sense (dollars and cents). 

    If you love coffee this is pretty much a no-brainer on the direction to go to get the most kick for your buck! Depending on how much you produce, consume and give away to the friend and family who will be more than happy to accept a cup from you, you’re not going to be paying out at retail prices for a cup of cold brew. Producing a large quantity of cold brew (approximately around a gallon) - is well worth the investment.

     

    The Kyoto Tower- and no, its not a Japanese building.

     

    Like I’ve mentioned we call this a tower and as far as coffee brewing systems goes, it lives up to its name. The largest Todd Alan Woodcraft custom cold brew tower is just at 4 feet tall from base to top. Of course- we offer a smaller one more suited for small coffee shops and home brewers.

     

    A standard Kyoto system consists of a top beaker which is filled up with tepid water or ice and water- depending on the flavors you’re looking to bring out in your beans.  That water drips through the drip rate valve into the next glass chamber which holds your grounds.

     

    This level is where the water slowly seeps through your grounds for 4 to 24 hours depending on what kind of cold brew you’re looking to produce.
    At the bottom of your grounds beaker, is a ceramic reusable filter to keep sediments from making into your final brew.

     

    Once the cold brew passes through the filter, it drips into the receptacle at the top of a thin glass coil, where the dark coffee nectar  twists and turns through and slowly drips into the bottom craft.  You’ll know the process is finished when the top craft of water is empty and the coffee from the coil stage is mostly air bubbles with a little coffee and there’s a random drip now and then into the bottom craft. 

     

    Once the brewing process is done and your bottom craft is full, chill your cold brew in the fridge for about 12 to 24 hours to let it cure and develop some other flavor notes. When its ready to serve, lightly shake (if you have a lid) or swirl it to mix the brew up, pour and enjoy black or with cream and sugar to your taste! 

     

    Just remember, sugar is bad for the human body- and we suggest cutting out as much as possible.

     

    It’s not Coughy. Its Coffee (and its good for you)!

    Speaking of the human body, earlier I mentioned that Cold brew coffee had some potential health benefits. 

     

    According to an article on Healthline Magazine online, Cold brew may lower your risks of heart disease, help control high blood pressure, has been shown to help people lower their risk of type 2 diabetes, may reduce risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimers disease- and a few other positive benefits to overall health.

     

    Say what?  Yep- studies are starting to roll in from different universities and research companies showing that cold brew coffee does have some interesting health potentials.

     

    Cold brew is loaded in antioxidants that are associated with good health. Cold brewing preserves Chlorogenic acid, one of the many powerful antioxidants that hot brewing methods are known to destroy.  It also contains phenylindanes which help protect the brain from age-related diseases and also its believed that cold brew coffee doesn’t create higher cortisol levels in the human body as hot water brewed coffee does.

     

    Additionally, because of being lower in acid, cold brew coffee is easier on the stomach for those who avoid coffee because of stomach issues such as acid reflux.

     

    Keep your eyes out for more studies to be released that are currently in the pipeline, if you’re into the science of coffee. As you can see, there are many reasons to switch to cold brew over hot coffee or ice-chilled versions of hot coffee. 
    The Kyoto Cold brew tower in your home or coffee shop is sure to be a conversation piece and unique addition to your decor.

     

    Using a Kyoto Style Cold Brew coffee maker is a great way to save money in the long run and even though it’s a longer brewing experience than hot coffee makers, its just fun to work with and experiment with! 
    Its a fun brewing and amazing flavor experience that’s just too good to pass up! 

     

    Reference:

    Toasted/Roasted Oak

    Toasted/Roasted Oak

    We’ve run into quite the debate online between self proclaimed “Old Timer” woodworkers and people newer to the craft, on what exactly is Roasted Oak.

    Everyone is familiar with the term “Toasted Oak” which is commonly associated with Whiskey and Wine barrel production. 

    Here at Todd Alan Woodcraft we tend to use a lot of Roasted Oak in many of our serving and charcuterie boards. We’ve found roasted oak has many different cool colors and really unique characteristics. 

    With that in mind, we set ourselves on a mission to sort through digital mess and see what we can figure out through the vast amounts of conflicting information, that always seems to be readily available on an internet search. 

    At the beginning, one word we noticed popping up over and over was “torrified wood,” or the process of torrefaction. According to dictionary.com Torridied means, "subject to fire or intense heat; parch, roast, or scorch.”  Some people were wrongly using the word “Char” and not understanding that charring is a whole different animal when it comes to the topic at hand.  This isn’t Charred Oak.

    Well awesome! That helps narrow things down (with a hint of sarcasm).  In many forums, most everyone basically agreed Torridied also referred to wood being “roasted” and/or “toasted” of which both those sound better than “torrified wood.”  

    Imagine trying to sell a “Maple and Torrified Oak” board. First off, it doesn’t sound that appealing, and Secondly- it sounds like someone scared the poor tree before taking it down. 

    Still not getting a clear answer, we headed back to a variety of online wood forums and dove right back into our research. 

    After 3 days of scouring over 20 different pages, groups and forums- here is what we’ve been able to put together for oak.

    Toasted oak = a high temperature for a short amount of time

    Roasted oak = a lower temperature for a longer amount of time

    So basically, SIMILAR RESULTS in the wood just a different process.  Its the heating process that ends up changing the woods color, to a darker reddish / brown color by releasing tannins in the wood and also changes the scent of the wood- to something like a combination of burnt cookies, nougat, light roast coffee and oak (Just a note: If your oak scrap is untreated chemically, it makes amazing wood to smoke meat with as we’ve found out).

    The oak almost looks like it has been stained, and almost takes on a medium dark Walnut color, if we were to give a close example in coloration. 

    There you have it! 

    Toasted and Roasted are very close to being the same wood, just through a different heating process.  Of course there are more complicated details to the process. but we’re not going to get into all the chemical and structural changes in the wood through the two different processes. That’s for you to do, we don’t want to take the fun out of it for you by providing everything!  Dig in yourself! You might actually find roasted/toasted oak interesting. 

    Either way if you continue the research or not, we hope you learned something, as we know we did doing the research for this blog. Do not try roasting or toasting your own wood at home. It’s a highly flammable process and if not done right, can be very dangerous. 

    If your local hardwood store ends up having some roasted oak come in, pick up a stick and play around with it- be creative- you never know, you might end up loving it as much as we at Todd Alan Woodcraft do!

    Our Picks for Wine Pairings with Charcuterie

    Our Picks for Wine Pairings with Charcuterie

    Our Picks for Wine Pairings with Charcuterie

    One of the great things about entertaining just isn’t a house full of loved friends and family, no, one of the great things is you get to show off your creative culinary skills and your knowledge of pairings and to make that... “friend” who always brags about good they are in the kitchen, or “Aunt Hilda” who’s always so critical of the spread of food and variety of wine… very envious! 

    So, with that- even if you’re not fully knowledgeable about pairings of Charcuterie components and a good bottle of Vino, we’re here to help you look like a rockstar!  

    Since we come from the Pacific Northwest, we’ve picked one of our favorite Northwest, Internationally known wineries to highlight for this blog:  Argyle, located in Dundee Oregon.  

    “No other American winery but Argyle has earned recognition in Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 Wines of the World” in three wine categories: red, white and sparkling.” - argylewinery.com

    All the wines mentioned in this blog are available on Argyle’s site ( for those of you 21 and over) and are just amazing, we know, we’ve tried them all!  From the Floral and Fruity Pinot Noir to the slightly fruity and full-bodied Chardonnay Argyle wines are a great choice for any occasion. 

    Here are the selections of wine or sparkling we picked for pairings of cheese and different meats. 

    Argyle Spirit Hill Pinot Noir
    Cheese: Gruyere 
    Meat: Pate (Chicken, Duck, Goose or Pork) or Foie gras with herbed crustini.

    Argyle Rose Sparkling
    Cheese: Chocolate Cream (Dairy or Goat) cheese, Mascarpone cheese
    Meat: Ginger or Mint infused Pancetta and Roast beef bacon with a dollop of fig jam topped with a spot of creme fresh.

    Argyle Brut Sparkling  
    Cheese: Camembert, Parmesan
    Meat: Lardo (cured fatback) or Prosciutto 

    Argyle Knudsen Vineyard Blanc de Blancs
    Cheese: Chèvre or a White Soft Brie style Cheese with Peppers (Chipotle, Jalapeño, Habanero) 
    Meat: Prosciutto.

    Argyle Nuthouse Riesling
    Cheese: Swiss fondu, Taleggio or an aged Manchego
    Meat: A Lamb based meat product- slices of Fenalar (a Norwegian dried and cured leg of lamb).  

    Argyle Chardonnay
    Cheese: Creamy Shropshire Blue Cheese or Sharp Cheddar
    Meat: Cedar Plank Grilled Chilled Salmon or Chicken Salad Bites on Water Crackers.

    Here’s why you should be using a wood cutting board!

    Here’s why you should be using a wood cutting board!

    Before the advent of plastic and the popularity of bamboo from Asian continents, wood has been the staple of butchering and cutting for upwards of a few thousand years in recorded history of Europe and the Middle East. 

    In more recent times, there has been a growing trend of alternative sources for cutting surfaces. Plastic / polyurethane, bamboo, granite, glass and other composite materials, but wood still maintains its hold as a valued kitchen resource. 

    As some of these alternative surfaces may be attractive to the eye, or attractive to the pocket book, a lot of times they are great for “show,” but not for “Go” when it comes to functionality and longevity. 

    My first cutting board was a family heirloom hand-me-down from my Grandparents, which belonged to my Great Grandmother, and was made by my great-great Grandfather.

    Unfortunately for me, it had been mishandled and mistreated so bad by my grandparents not knowing how to care for it, by the time it was handed off to me, it was in pretty bad condition.  My wife at the time, donated it when I was out of town, not knowing the family history- but wanting to get this abused and ugly piece of wood out of the house. 

    First rule of thumb… Treat your wood well and it will last lifetimes!!! Oh, and pass that knowledge down.

    If you’re not sure how to care for a wood board, Todd Alan Woodcraft has a wonderful blog on how to care for your butcher block, cutting, serving and charcuterie boards here

    I’d highly suggest you read it because as you can see and my point being- a board made three lifetimes before me was handed down as heirloom. One of the many great reasons for using wood!  

    World wide, wood still is recognized as the best surface for chopping, cutting and preparing foods.  Wood boards offer a solid, yet semi-healable surface. It is a tough and versatile renewable resource- wood almost heals itself from cuts, not scaring as easily when kept up and cared for.

    Wood boards are easier on the blades of knives, keeping them sharper, longer than other materials.  You can use a knife on most any surface but a wood surface makes a great firm yet soft stop for your blade, preserving the sharp edges and keeping the blades from dulling quickly.  Other materials wear out knives faster requiring more frequent maintenance and sharpening.

    Some of the main wood varieties Todd Alan Woodcraft selects to use for blocks and cutting boards are Ash, Maple, Jarah, Sapele, Purple Heart and Walnut.

    Last thing to mention on why wood is one of the best surfaces, is a huge feature of wood is that it is one of the most antibacterial surfaces you can use to cut or butcher on.  

    We do suggest having two boards on-hand, one for all your raw meats and seafoods, and the other for washed vegetables and non-meat items, to help eliminate another step in the potential for cross-contamination of bacteria. 

    Several studies have found that there are natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties in many varieties of harder wood due to its porous healing nature. Wood pulls bacteria in trapping and killing it through the drying process, but and I say this with a big BUT… that doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean, dry and oil your boards between uses, that’s always imperative. 

    Plastic cutting boards can collect bacteria over time hiding under the scratches and cuts from your knives. At first, they’re great for easy cleaning until they get scarred. Wood, by far is ultimately superior.

    Since bacteria needs moisture to grow, you don’t want to create an environment conducive to its growth, so make sure your boards are completely dry before oiling them.

    I hope this information helps you make a decision to go with Wood- one of the oldest, most trusted kitchen surfaces still readily available. A surface strong enough to handle all kinds of meat and veggies yet soft enough to care for your cutting utensils, and a surface friendly to helping reduce potential food borne illness.

    I also hope you make the choice to pick up one of these beautifully styled, hand crafted in the USA, quality Todd Alan Woodcraft Cutting, boards.

    What makes a great Charcuterie presentation.

    What makes a great Charcuterie presentation.

    One of the most confusing things to the average, non-Chef’s of the world is,  “What exactly is Charcuterie and how do you even pronounce it correctly?”  Two valid questions, when there are so many things considered by so many different Chef’s to be Charcuterie. Solving the easiest of those two questions first; According to a google search, there are two best ways to pronounce Charcuterie. 

    The first being “shahr-kew-tree” and by other accounts “shahr-kew-te-ree” is also an acceptable way to pronounce it. 

    To me, both pronunciations sound the same- so as long as you’re not saying “Char-koot-tahaa-ree” you’re good. 

    Now we’ll tackle the harder question of what exactly is Charcuterie, and what does it entail?  What kinds of meat, cheeses, fruit- even what kind of boards and knives do you use? 

    Modern Charcuterie is such a broad range of things, so we can narrow it down into something you and your family can do at home, or when entertaining friends or business associates. 

    Historically Charcuterie consist of basically three things- sliced meat, cheese and a wooden serving board.  

    Now, modern Charcuterie goes well beyond these 3 simple things with the addition of fruits, nuts, breads, jams, jellies, pickled items and small one bite desserts all fall under the term Charcuterie. 

    There are a lot of choices and options now to serve your family or events guests- so the sky is the limit for what you can create by mixing and matching any kind bite sized Hors d'oeuvre.

    The Board.


    Technically, any kind of serving board or tray could be used for Charcuterie, and that’s why at Todd Alan Woodcraft,  we sell boards in the main category they were intended for but if you read the descriptions of the boards we create, we detail further what they could be alternatively used for. 

    Of course, we strongly suggest Wood boards for the natural, organic feel that they add to any dinner or event atmosphere.

    Wood boards are also the most commonly associated with Charcuterie and depending on the board, it can add a modern elegant or rustic look to your table.

    We offer a Charcuterie specific category of boards, but some of our serving boards would be awesome for a charcuterie layout as well.  

    We tend to make the Charcuterie boards a bit longer and wider as to be beautiful centerpiece table toppers. Normally serving boards are small to medium and shorter in length.  We try to vary our serving board sizes, to fit them into multiple categories, while still keeping the serving boards unique characteristics.

    Either way, all our Serving or Charcuterie boards are great for laying out a beautiful presentation.

    Though there are many variations in color and style of wood for Charcuterie, we suggest finding foods you like that go with, and compliment your boards features. 

    Contrasting colors, or uniquely shaped foods that compliment the board are a great way to do this as Charcuterie is not just about taste, it’s about the art of the visual design as well.

    Be creative and make whatever board you pick, make your Charcuterie an expression of the artistic branch of your foodie life.

    Mustard.

    One basic essential of any good Charcuterie board is having some savory and spicy elements. One of the best ways to incorporate both of these is to add a little Mustard. We suggest adding two basics to start with Yellow (or sometimes called “White”), Brown or as most commonly people refer to as Dijon.
     
    Other great additions to the board are garlic mustard, maple or honey mustard, spicy brown and even siracha style mustard. We suggest having small serving bowls and a cheese spreading knife or small tea spoon for guests to spread the mustard on whatever finger food they’ve picked up.
     

    Meats / Cheese / Fruits / Spreads and other yummy things.

    Here’s a short list of traditional and modern accoutrements for an exceptional Charcuterie board, which would sure to be a crowd pleaser.
    One thing we do suggest, is under oily foods. place something to keep the foods from having direct contact with the wood. Especially for pungent foods such as truffle infused butters, meats and other aged pungent cheeses.  The oils from these make cleaning and oder removal a harder task than it needs to be when it permeates and infuses the natural oil and wax used in cleaning and preserving your board.
    A few items you can use as a buffer between the wood and foods are: Wax Paper, Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Arugula, Small plates or bowls.

    Cheese.

    If you aren’t familiar with more than basic American and Cheddar cheeses, its always good to ask the manager of the the local cheese department of your favorite store what Artisan cheeses they might suggest for you.  Also, the same goes for meat department managers as well. 

    Tell them a little about what you’re looking to make, the type of event and most department managers are more than happy to help you select items that will be popular with your guests and work well together. 

    Some great cheeses to use are brie, blue cheese/gorgonzola, camembert, gouda, gruyere, goat cheese (block, not crumble), cream cheese, different flavors of jack, cheddar or mozzarella, havarti. There are harder cheeses like parmesan, asiago and romano which are great additions to the board.

    One tip: If you are using a strong ripened cheese or something pungent, separate the cheese by a few items between them, so over the course of your night or event, the taste of that stronger cheese doesn’t infuse into any mild or bland cheeses around it. And also remember what we said about pungent cheeses making direct contact with your board.

    Meats.

    Common meats served with Charcuterie are: salami, pepperoni, jambon, prosciutto other types of sausages or dried game meats. For a more modern Charcuterie board, smoked meats, Paté from different types of poultry, mousse and pickled meats are usually well received by guests.
    Cold-cuts are also acceptable, but with those, to make easier for your guests to pick them up we suggest rolling them.

    A easy to make crowd favorite is to take sliced Turkey cold-cuts and spread about a tablespoon of whipped cream cheese on each of the turkey slices. Place a very thin sliced pickle spear off to one side of each slice and roll the pickle spear to make a turkey wrap. Put a toothpick in the center to hold the wrap into place. 

    Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables. 

    A great addition to a meat and cheese board are savory and sweet tastes. Also hearty and earthy flavors of veggies add to the many variety of tastes available for modern Charcuterie options. Just remember to take into consideration anyone you know who has a nut allergy when designing your layout and design as you may want to omit nuts. We suggest unshelled nuts only, because shells can get messy and into other foods on the board.

    Here are some great additions to your board:
    almonds (plain or seasoned), peanuts (plain or seasoned), cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, seasoned pine nut (in a bowl with a spoon), pickled vegetables (onions, cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, carrots  gherkins), black olives, mediterranean olive varieties, artichoke hearts, carrots (sliced, or sticks), roasted red peppers, celery sticks, zucchini slices, sugar snap peas, green beans, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, pear slices, apple slices, sliced kiwi, pineapple, cherries, figs… the list could go on and on. 
    Mix and match colors and come up with come innovative flavor combinations! 

    Sweets.

    Other than honey, normally sweets haven’t been a part of a Charcuterie spread, but are now gaining more and more acceptance as professional chefs, caterers and event hosts have been  increasingly using them in their designs.
    Some simple ideas for sweets to add to your culinary line-up are: chocolate squares or candies (dark, milk or white), dried fruit (blueberries, cranberries, raisins, peaches, apricots, apples), small cream puffs, bite-sized cakes and cheesecakes, cake pops and mini-doughnuts. Chocolate covered strawberries are always a popular choice. 
    We don’t  suggest adding wrapped candy or pastry items to the boards, no matter what quality the candy or pastry might be. Wrappers cheapen the look and take away from the over all aesthetics of the board. Plus, sometime- and I hate to say it- but people can be a little sloth and just place the wrapper down without being mindful of the food around it and you don’t want a wrapper getting into something you’ve spent time cooking/baking or designing. 
    Many people like to add jams and jellies, or a small tea light candle fondu pot of melted chocolate to dip marshmallows or pretzels in. 
    Pepper jellies are great and add a little sweet heat to your board. One thing we love to do is take a block of a little less than room temperature cream cheese or goat cheese,  place it on a small plate, then pour jalapeño pepper jelly over it. We garnish the cheese and jelly with some kind of berries and serve it with whole wheat crackers and a spreading Cheese knife. It’s a crowd favorite every time.
    We also suggest fig spreads, orange marmalade, apricot marmalade, Sweetened canned cherries and berry preserves. These can be served in bowls with spoons, or over different foods.

    Bread, Spread and everything else.

    Crostini, bread (sourdough, rye, wheat, rustic wheat, cheese, so on),  wheat crackers, rye crackers, chickpea crackers and depending on your spread, chips and pretzels add to the many things you can add meats, cheese, spreads, mousse and paté too.  They are great for dipping, spreading and as a platform for stabilizing meats and cheese while eating. 
    Dips are spreads are an easy to add item to your Charcuterie board, but the one important thing to remember is keeping these cool- as they can go bad with bacteria once they stay at room temperature for a short while. If you are going to use dips, make sure to do some research on proper ways to keep them cool. 
    Things you can add are hummus, ranch dip, onion dip, blue cheese dips, and other types of spreads for veggies, meats and breads. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar together plated, or in a small bowl, makes for a great bread dip.  Room temperature butter is also a good addition, with an easy spreading butter knife. 
    Last food items we’ll mention are things like pickled hard boiled eggs, pickled quail eggs are popular items to add, either whole or sliced, sautéed foods- which have been chilled and plated, like mushrooms and onions are excellent toppers for a cracker/mousse combination. 
    One thing we suggest staying away from is seafood and fish- unless you read up on proper techniques to keep your seafood and fish chilled throughout your evening or event.  You run the risk of food borne bacteria quickly developing and also, fish unless presented properly can infuse into the wood and be one of the hardest smells to remove from a wood board.


    Knives.

    Finally, what serving utensils and knives are important to have available to guests? Cheese knives are a must, one for the softer more spreadable cheeses, and a knife for the harder cheeses that take more effort to cut.
    The two types of Cheese knives we suggest you have available for your dinner or event are: a Fork-Tipped Spear knife which works great for both cutting, slicing and also the tip can be used for picking up the cheese and the second is a Soft Cheese Knife. These are both essential for your cheese plates.  Soft cheese knives can also be used for spreading mousse, paté, jams and jellies.  An additional knife, though not essential, yet very handy is a Cheese fork. This is useful for picking up not only cheese, but also meats, veggies and fruit as well.  
     
    As far as plating and serving, that is up to you, your budget and creativity. 
    Many party supply stores have plate and napkin styles for a variety of budgets. We suggest if serving food that needs spoons, knives and forks, that you don’t use plastic- as they can be dangerous around foods if they shatter or break.
    We hope this helps settle some of your questions on what is or isn’t Charcuterie, what boards work the best, what food choices are available for your boards, and helps take any confusion out of planning for your Charcuterie.   
    Realistically when it’s all said and done, nowadays creating a unique and imaginative Charcuterie board is whatever you can dream and imagine.
    So be creative and have a lot of fun with it! 
    To see our full line of beautiful Todd Alan Woodcraft Charcuterie Boards Click Here.