holiday meat and cheese platter
Dining Reviews

Local Ingredients are Something to Celebrate

Local tips for this year’s holiday spread

Holiday deli platters can have some kick this year with local ingredients.


Cocktail Garnishes

Tend bar like a mixologist with Tipsy Cherries infused in sweet vermouth, or try the savory stir sticks with pepper, olive, pearl onion, and gherkins. Pre-made and hand-packed in a jar. Great host gift, too.

$8.99 at Ben Lomond Market, 9440 Mill Street, Ben Lomond, 336-3900,

Holiday Deli Platter Ingredients

Make a custom party cheese and charcuterie platter with the finest quality deli items. Ducktrap River of Maine naturally smoked wild salmon (4 ounces for $8.49); Busseto pancetta and prosciutto, slowly air-dried and cured (3 ounces for $3.99); or Norwegian Jarlsberg—perfect for fondue ($10.17/lb). Shopper’s Corner, 22 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-1398,


Cooking a turkey is one thing; carving it can be quite another. Avoid YouTubing Julia Child tutorials at the eleventh hour by presenting a Turketta instead. A play on porchetta, seasoned non-GMO turkey thigh and breast meat are rolled and tied together with skin on the outside that crisps to a golden brown, and served with a rich bone broth. Dramatic presentation is assured sans turkey carcass clean up. $8.99/lb at New Leaf Community Markets, various locations,


The talented bakers at Staff of Life have produced a selection of gluten-free and vegan pies that will ensure that no one has to miss out on dessert because of a dietary restriction or preference. Choose from apple, olallieberry, cherry, pumpkin, strawberry and chocolate. $15.99 (except olallieberry, which is $16.99) at Staff of Life, 126 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-8632,

Pear-Marzipan Tart

Sweet almond paste takes this pear tart to a delectable level of fall goodness that will have guests ooh-ing and aah-ing. Serves 6-12. $24 at the Farm Bakery Cafe & Gifts, 6790 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 684-0226,

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