March 2020 will mark my five-year anniversary moving to Prince George. As a former Toronto resident, moving from the city was one of the toughest decisions of my life. Hindsight is really 2020 as looking back it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made thus far.
What better way to celebrate it than building a charcuterie board inspired by Prince George local products? Charcuterie boards are not only gorgeous, they contain a combination of flavors and nibbles for a simple no-fuss party snack. They are one of my favourite dishes to put together; there is always a food and flavour to please any picky eater in a crowd.
With the recent uptick in farm-to-table eats in Prince George, building a Prince George charcuterie board is a great way to get immersed in Prince George’s culture and pay homage to your local eats.
Breads and crackers
One of my favourite things to put on a charcuterie are Hixon Falls Company crackers. These crackers are made by a company originally from Hixon, BC and they can be found at the Prince George Farmers’ Market, Northern Lights Estate Winery, and Birch and Boar Charcuterie and Provisions regularly. They are crunchy, have a robust flavour, and are simply addictive. My favourite flavour is onion, but I always make sure to pick up the herb to go with some creamy cheeses on the board.
Another must is bread on the board. A sourdough from Cobs Bread is just another crowd-pleaser. This business operated by Prince George residents always has fresh baked goods that are sold the same day they are made. Supporting a business that also donates their end-of-the-day products to local charities is another great feature.
Meats and cheeses
I love getting my meats and cheeses in a one-stop-shop and one of the best hidden gems for this is our local butcher downtown, Birch and Boar. They have a variety of house-cured meats and curated cheeses. I love going in there and getting different meats and cheeses every time, but my absolute staples are a triple cream goat cheese brie and red pepper jelly. I recently tried some merlot-soaked cheese from Birch and Boar on my board; it really was a wine lover’s dream.
Homesteader Meats is another place to find some meat treats. They stock locally farmed meat products and have in-house made sausage and jerky, which is absolutely to die for. Since it is on my way home from work, I usually make a stop there and pick up some items too.
Condiments and pickles
Oils, vinegars, pickles, and jellies can be found at many different places throughout Prince George and can usually be found where you shop for meats. If you want to make a special trip to find some special condiments, I suggest stopping at 4 Oak Oil and Vinegar. 4 Oak is a family operation and they have a shop in Kamloops and one in Prince George where they boast a great selection of olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and items such as honey and soups from local businesses. One of my favourites from 4 Oak is the uniquely infused Persian Lime Olive Oil. It’s got a great flavour to dip with a loaf of bread. I’ve definitely eaten a full loaf of focaccia with this oil (don’t judge me!).
Sips (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
Okay, confession. Building charcuteries really just give me an excuse to have some friends over and drink wine or beer. I am a huge fan of BC VQA wine but there is one local gem I want to mention. Northern Lights Estate Winery is BC’s most northern winery on the banks of the Nechako River and serves Prince George locally as well as throughout BC.
If you want to shop local it’s a no-brainer to pick up your beer from one of my mandatory stops at Crossroads Brewing or Trench Brewing. The Cloud 9 Witbier by Crossroads is literally my favourite beer on the planet and always a good choice from Crossroads for any beer lover. I’ve recently also enjoyed two stouts from Trench I have to mention; the Six Mile Stout and the Vanilla Blueberry Stout that will keep me coming back to Trench for more.
If you want to please your friends with some non-alcoholic drinks, coffee is always a great bet. North Roast Coffee is a local roaster in Prince George and can be found at various shops around town.
Keep it simple!
This may sound like a ton of work for some people and not worth the effort so some folks around town have made it uber easy to enjoy a charcuterie in Prince George. Birch and Boar has meat and cheese boards ready for order and inspired by Prince George destinations. The Ness? The Purden? The Nechako? If you’re from Prince George, you’ll know.