Local meats and cheeses on a holiday charcuterie board.

Five Tips for Building the Perfect Charcuterie Board Featuring our Favorite South Dakota Foods

Coming up with creative gifts for everyone on your list can be exhausting, but there’s one thing you can always count on: people love food. Especially foods made proudly in South Dakota. Putting together a personalized gift basket of delicious, local goodies is a thoughtful way to make people feel special.

To kick-start your creativity, we gathered a few of our favorite products made by local hands with ingredients South Dakota farmers played a part in growing. For example, these meats and cheeses come from local livestock and dairy farmers who take good care of their animals by monitoring their health and comfort, day and night. An important part of keeping animals healthy is providing a balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients, so farmers prepare tasty meals for their livestock who indulge in local products too. In fact, soybeans are one of South Dakota’s top crops and are a key ingredient in chicken, pig and dairy cow diets because they’re packed with high-quality protein.

To build your own South Dakota-inspired gift, mix and match these local treasures and keep scrolling for tips on how to pull them all together for your own Instagram-worthy charcuterie board.

Our Favorite South Dakota-Made Food Products

A charcuterie display of local foods and wine.

Specialty Meats

Explore local shops like The Meat Lodge and put together an assortment of specialty cured meats and sausages. The Meat Lodge also makes items like beef jerky, beef sticks and a host of sauces and rubs to choose from.

Flavorful Cheeses

A sampler of various cheeses is an exciting adventure for the palate and a gift that’s fun to share. Dimock Dairy makes a variety of spreads and cheese blocks in flavors we love like blue cheddar and garlic and parsley. Stensland’s Farms also makes fun, flavored cheese curds like onion and chive, and raspberry chipotle.

Artisan Breads

There’s something about breaking fresh bread that’s good for the soul, which is why the artisan loaves at Breadico are one of our favorite holiday gift basket additions. From a sweet raisin bread to a classic French loaf, they have something for every personality you’re buying for.

Hand-Crafted Condiments

Specialty jams, preserves and mustards are gifts that keep on giving with a shelf life that will keep your friends and family thinking of you every time they crack open the jar. Prairie Berry makes a few jams we drool over like spiced orange cranberry, and Laughing Eyes Apiary harvests local honey that goes great with toasts of all kinds.

How to Style a Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie board featuring local South Dakota products,

Hosting this year? Here are five tips to help you build the perfect charcuterie board for your guests featuring our favorite South Dakota-made products.

Vary Textures and Flavors. Offer both soft and firm cheese options and meats ranging from mild to spicy. Thinly slice and roll your cured meats for a neat presentation.

  1. Balance Salty With Sweet. Fresh fruit like grapes, melon balls and berries elegantly break up the heavy, salty meats and cheeses. Jams and preserves play a similar role by adding another texture and a bit of sweetness.
  2. Include a Hearty Base. Crunchy crackers and toasted baguette slices create a sturdy base for piling on the toppings.
  3. Garnish With Accent. Charcuterie boards sure taste good, but the real fun comes in making it look pretty. Once you have your key ingredients in place, fill empty spaces with flavorful nuts, pickled vegetables, dark chocolate squares or eye-catching herbs such as rosemary, basil or thyme.
  4. Pair Local. Complement your beautiful board with your favorite Prairie Berry wine or beer from Miner Brewing. Or, add a less traditional element like deviled eggs using eggs from local Dakota Layers.

Bonus Tip: Store your board in the refrigerator but take it about out 20 minutes before serving. The meats will taste better closer to room temperature.

Wondering where to shop for gifts like these? Kirsten Gjesdal, owner of Carrot Seed Kitchen, fills her cute shop with local goodies year-round, but this blog might help you realize buying local is easy no matter where you do your shopping.

 Hungry for Truth is an initiative about food and farming funded by the South Dakota soybean checkoff. The goal is to connect South Dakotans with the farmers who grow and raise their food.