Barrie Uncovered

Always on Board with Leanne

Imagine being at a bridal party pre-Covid and the doorbell rings.  Opening it you are presented with a huge charcuterie board.  What a fantastic, over the top, simplified, yet elegant way to entertain!  That’s where the interest in charcuterie came from for Leanne Allen, owner of Always on Board!

Just what is Charcuterie?

Charcuterie boards are not a new idea.  Having been around for 100’s of years; charcuterie comes from the French word for the person who prepared the cured eats used on the board – Charcutier or “pork butcher”, which comes from the French for cooked flesh.

However, we learn from Leanne that modern day Charcuterie has grown up very elegantly.

Handcrafted Artistry!

Leanne uses hand crafted boards designed by Erin Londen of Willow Tree Collectibles in Coldwater.

The Beauty of the Board!

The boards are then laid out with fabulous offerings of high quality charcuterie (or cured meats), artisanal cheeses and artisanal crackers, antipasto ingredients, nuts, olives, stuffed peppers, fresh fruit and sweets etc.

The charcuterie board is then set to serve as a central “grazing” area.

Usually a charcuterie board is served with alcohol – wine and/or beer, which can be tailored for unique pairings, making the board an even more special event.

Take Delivery:

With our current “stay at home” orders, Leanne provides a front porch delivery service to her clients with Barrie and Innisfil area being at no charge.

Build a Board!

Leanne tells of her most interesting order being for a surprise 50th Zoom birthday where the host ordered “build charcuterie by numbers” and had one shipped to each guest across the county.  Part of the guests’ enjoyment was preparing the board with each other via Zoom.  Now that’s an Instagram moment if there ever was one!

Being a “Foodie” at heart, Leanne graduated in hospitality with extended courses in wine.  With her love of food and sense of adventure she is working on “Travel around the World” boards.  Presently she’s hosting wine and virtual charcuterie tastings with guest sommelier!

Gifts for all Occasions!

There are beautiful boards for all occasions as well.  Upcoming of course, is a Mother’s Day board geared to Mom’s taste – a very beautiful sweet and savory board combined with beautiful flowers and chocolate and cheese.  Yum!

There is also a “Market Board” in the works with offerings from Barrie’s own Farmers Market.  What a lovely way to sample all there is to offer from the Market!

Shop Local!!

These beautifully designed boards have just so many choices, many of them local food artisans.  Some of the locals that Leanne often uses when she’s creating is honey comb from Dicky Bee Honey, cheeses from the Cheesy Corner in Stayner as well as  local produce to name a few.

Even now, with not being able to entertain groups, charcuterie boards are still a wonderful addition to date nights, gifts or socially distanced gatherings with individual charcuterie. 

Make sure to call Leanne at Always on Board to make your evening – ever so special!!

Written By: Jane Laker

Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott

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One of the Worlds Most Diverse Food Cultures

Growing up in one of the world’s most diverse food cultures must have been fascinating!

Off We Go Exploring!!

Today we explore the Punjab State of India.  Even the state name (meaning five rivers) denotes life, lush areas and fish.

The region, lushly fertile, is known as the “Bread basket of India.”  With a climate ranging from 7degrees in “winter” to the upper 30’s in the warmest season, it’s actually quite similar to southern Ontario.

The diversity of people in this state comes from successive waves of invaders looking to benefit from the riches of the land.

With the fertile land comes such a variety of crops leading to some of the world’s most loved culinary dishes.

Imagine the Diversity!!

Travelling upward from the southern states to the Punjab Region allows one to experience firsthand – the culture and cuisine so wonderful.

Imagine the fields and markets to the south filled with fruit, vegetables, teas, sugar and of course…spices!

Without India it’s believed our food worldwide would have been found to be very boring!

Travelling through India allows a culinary experience not readily found elsewhere.

In some areas entire states are nearly all vegetarian while in others meat is very prevalent.

Introducing the Punjab!

The “taste of India” is very crowd pleasing and indicative to Punjabi cuisine.

Such a variety of masalas, desi ghee, and thick creams are synonymous with the tender flavors appreciated the world over.

Punjabi cuisine has a balance of everything – neither too strong nor too mild.  Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani are the two most sought after dishes in the cuisine worldwide.

Many meals in the region are still made using wood fires and masonry ovens or the tandoor (A Punjab style underground oven).

What a Streetscape!!

credit source Photographers of India *

As you pass through the region you might share the street with elephants, water buffalo, cattle, other livestock, as well as the usual cars, scooters and tuk tuks!

Welcome to the Menu!!

It should come as no surprise that dairy products play a huge part in the region as well.

The Indians use milk from both cattle and water buffalo to make yoghurt, butter and paneer (Indian cottage style cheese) as well as the delicious buttermilk found in various flavors of Lassi (Milk based drink either sweet or savory).

The meats used in the region most commonly are poultry, lamb and goat.

Many of us have enjoyed Butter Chicken, Biryani, Kebabs or Keema!

As utensils generally are not used, the bread served with a meal becomes an important tool.  Often used is Naan or Roti so that every last drop of the wonderful meal can be eaten.

Find this Most Wonderful Cuisine....Right Here!

Here in Barrie, we are so lucky to be able to experience the Punjabi Cuisine first hand.  This is where the owners of Tandoori Kingdom on Blake Street bring their passion of food from!

Check out the menu on the Tandoori Kingdom website and be prepared to enjoy “The taste of India” from the comfort of your own home….even better yet, call!

It’s a delicious way to break bread together!

Written By: Jane Laker

Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott

Are you a Barrie based business looking to expand your digital footprint?  Let us know!  We can help get you Uncovered!