Wine. Charcuterie. Cheese. Paired together, these three items take me into a world of the Greek Gods with Bacchus, known as the god of wine and ecstasy, inspiring the escape. As a member of several wine clubs, my husband and I enjoy tasting wines paired with the occasional charcuterie and cheese board. I have tried my hand at creating these boards and while I, at one point, thought I was “not bad” at doing them, I laugh now when I see the art behind the boards.
I interviewed Jenn Barazon, owner of Shareableboards.com, a charcuterie and cheese board company that I have been addicted to ordering from. I purchase these for clients, family, friends, and, of course, me. Born out of quarantine, Jenn found this pastime a therapeutic and creative outlet.
“I love cheese and the irony is that I’m lactose intolerant. Never in a million years did I think I was going to make this a business,” said Jenn, who has a full-time job yet took the leap and “didn’t know it was in [her] to do this.”
Many of us during the pandemic may have discovered a new passion, caught up on DIY household designs, or dabbled in some creative or therapeutic projects. For Jenn her passion started after the lockdown around May when she began making charcuterie boards for her husband. Her husband enjoyed them so much that she decided to create Shareableboards.com. She posted her first shareable board in September.
Jenn said, “I put a lot of love into each one, and each board will never be the same. Even if I use the same ingredients, it depends on my mood, what music am I listening to, and what I’m feeling.” She might ask “Am I inspired?”
If you’re like me, you may have tried creating one, so I asked Jenn to share five tips on what to consider when creating your own. Here’s what she had to say:
Incorporate seasonal items – “If you’re going to shop, get something in season. In October, I love incorporating figs, persimmons and pomegranates. It’s like a novelty.”
Feel your way – “I love playing with texture. For example, I love fresh fruit and get different types of blueberries, contrasted with blackberries. When you go shopping for produce, get ones with different texture.”
Living in color or not: “Depending on how you want to feel, you can stay in monochromatic tones or a vibrant tone.” The appearance of your board will depend on what colors you pick while going shopping.
Who moved my cheeses? – “When I was first shopping with cheese, there’s a vast amount of cheeses to choose from. At the end of the day go with what you enjoy. I’m not a fan of the funky cheese and a lot of people aren’t either. Explore and incorporate what you like into the board.”
Just have fun – “Just have fun and don’t overthink it. See where your creativity takes you.” For décor, she uses herbs like sage, rosemary, mint, and sometimes eucalyptus leaves. When selecting meats or charcuterie, Jenn uses prosciutto to make ribbon on the board. She might use hard salami to add a masculine texture.
Jenn didn’t realize she had it in her to create something spectacular until she put it on the board, literally. With no background in this art form and truly seeing what she liked by exploring and creating, Jenn found something she was passionate about and shared it with us. Her husband is her biggest cheerleader and when she has leftovers, he’s always asking for a personal board.
“When you have a board, it’s those moments you’re laughing with your girlfriends, drinking wine, and sharing stories,” that make this endeavor worthwhile, noted Jenn.
I agree 100 percent with Jenn. Ranging from $10 for a mini that serves one individual to $150 for a large board that serves 10-12, each of these boards are a moment to remember. As I taste the goodness of each ingredient found in these delectable boards, I cherish the moment with my husband, sharing an experience created out of love, sipping on our favorite wines, and escaping the pandemic.
Photos courtesy of Jenn Barazon of Shareableboards.com