Hosting during the holiday season is something of an art form, from planning the menu to stocking up on groceries to adding last-minute decor touches. It’s the reason we welcome any shortcuts that will help us achieve a festive (and fuss-free) event to remember. And since food is the cornerstone of any holiday gathering, there is one pantry staple that is an absolute must when entertaining: raincoast crisps®.
Whether hosting a large family get-together or a casual dinner party with friends, the artisanal crackers are incredibly versatile to suit every palate. Here, we reveal the most creative ways to serve these festive bites, complete with top-notch food and drink pairings, that your guests will crave until next December rolls around.
A holiday event wouldn’t be complete without a show-stopping charcuterie board as its centrepiece. How to build the perfect spread? First, consider the balance of flavours, combining salty meats and cheeses with nutty crackers, tangy spreads and sweet fruits. For instance, the salty-meets-sweet raincoast crisps fig and olive would complement a board featuring Canadian camembert or gouda cheese, coupled with a fig conserve and a peppery capicola.
Variety is also key, offering a selection of cured meats and cheeses of different textures and flavour profiles–think soft, mild cheeses like brie combined with an earthy semi-hard Manchego and a hard aged cheddar. Variety can also take the form of roasted nut mixtures, stuffed olives and versatile cracker flavours.
Lastly, consider the aesthetics of the arrangement: placing larger items like crackers or crisps down first, then creating interest with various shapes and sizes–whether through sliced cheeses or rolled meats–before filling in any gaps with nuts, fruits and petite bowls of preserves.
Appetizers are another holiday soirée mainstay. The good news: creating a mouthwatering canapé often takes little prep time. It’s also an opportunity to get creative with an assortment of apps to suit all tastes and dietary preferences. With a variety of flavours on offer, raincoast crisps are the perfect base for any small bite.
Looking for appetizer inspiration? Top raincoast crisps rosemary raisin pecan with Italian salami, a sweet plum preserve and mild blue cheese, or go the tangy route with a warm roasted feta dip paired with balsamic-pickled grapes. You could even pair the crisps with a seasonal cranberry-almond baked brie.
The raincoast crisps salty date and almond are another signature flavour perfect for the holidays. Dress up the crisps with a creamy cheval noir cheese and fragrant truffle honey. Or, for plant-based guests, opt for a smoked vegan cheese garnished with thin apple slices and a few fresh rosemary leaves.
Holiday events also call for festive sips to clink glasses and celebrate the season ahead. Whether you create a signature holiday cocktail or offer a selection of wine and beer, consider how the food you’re serving pairs with each beverage. Tip: place a crackers and cheese tray beside the wine and beer station, so guests can nibble as they pour.
The wide range of raincoast crisps flavours makes for perfect drink pairing opportunities. The cranberry and hazelnut crisps, for example, will complement a rich red wine (think pinot noir or Bordeaux) or a slightly hoppy to light beer (pale ale or lager). If serving white wine such as a sauvignon blanc, include the rosemary raisin pecan crisps in your spread.
While hosting during the holidays can be stressful, remember that creating a memorable evening with loved ones is often best kept casual (no formal dinners required). So long as you plan ahead, keep a well-stocked pantry and create a cozy atmosphere, it’ll amount to an evening of festive fun and satisfied appetites.