If you’re like us, we have fallen in love with the romance of a charcuterie board; however, we have struggled to make a board that we’re proud of and that we know our company will enjoy. Which cheeses do we pick? What about the crackers? How else do we make it visually appealing but also tasty? Our anxiety is already building, and that shouldn’t be the case with anything related to cheese.

To calm our nerves and satisfy our taste buds (and our guests’), we participated in Pizazz’s cooking class on how to make the perfect charcuterie board. The cooking classes are a fun addition to your itinerary for Great Falls. Whether it be a couple’s class together, part of a girls’ weekend getaway, or how you want to add an educational portion to your plans, we think you should sign up now. If you aren’t familiar with all the services and goodies offered at Pizazz, let us fill you in. Pizazz is the premier gourmet kitchen store, a culinary heaven spanning 3,200 square feet. They have a pre-made gourmet take-n-go deli called the Corner Market, wine assortment (and wine club), all the cooking supplies you could need, and a state of the art performance kitchen where they host their cooking classes, workshops, and team-building events. Needless to say, they know what they are doing.

We participated in the class on December 31, 2020, the perfect end to the workweek and the year 2020. Rhonda, the Executive Chef at Pizazz, created the class the walked us through the charcuterie board making process. From the selection of cheeses, to include texture considerations, funkiness (that’s a thing), and age, to the cured meat selections, and which drinks pairs well with charcuterie boards, Rhonda knew what she was talking about.

At the beginning of class, we were all given a unique wooden board to create our charcuterie masterpiece. The boards were upcycled from The Good Wood Guys and treated for food use. We also had individually wrapped ingredients that we would use for the board. Rhonda talked us through the process and said that the boulder, pebble, and sand method works best to fill the charcuterie board. First, we would put our larger items on the board (the boulders), which would set as the staging points for our pebbles (the smaller ingredients), and lastly, we would fill it in with our smallest pieces. Rhonda gave us tips on where to place complimentary cheeses, spreads, olives, and even pepper drops (these are a must in our book). As for where to put crackers on the board: don’t. We learned that you don’t want to waste valuable real estate on the charcuterie board with wheat, but instead should use that space for more ingredients with fat because fat equals flavor.

Other secrets told to us were how long to let the charcuterie board breathe after taking it out of the refrigerator and before serving it to guests, the go-to funky cheese to include, and the must-have condiments to make your charcuterie board memorable and tasty.

After our charcuterie board was complete, we were taught the catering wrap for the board, to make it safe for travel. However, I don’t think it will stay wrapped long since you’ll probably be craving it as much as we were. Like many food masterpieces, we forgot to take a picture of the final product. It looked so good that we just wanted to devour it as soon as possible. However, we snapped some shots of the board while we made it that we think are pretty darn good looking too.

We want to thank Rhonda , our friends at Pizazz, and the other class participants for letting us gather content during the class.

Pizazz is located at 403 Central Ave, Great Falls, MT 59401 and can be reached by phone at (406) 452-6724. They are open six days a week, closed Mondays, and share their events on their website, as well as their Facebook.