CP Photo: Lisa Cunningham
“The European” from Chantal’s Cheese Shop
One of the best things about all your friends and loved ones getting vaccinated is being able to safely have parties again, especially around the holidays. And nothing says party like putting out snacks that everyone can enjoy.
But if being isolated for a year or so has left you a little rusty in the party-throwing department, or if you just want to have fun without all the preparation and hassle, no worries. There are plenty of local businesses selling all types of nibbles, including cheese, cookies, pretzel bites, and more. No matter how big your gathering will be, you should be able to find something that suits your needs.
Blanket & Board
Picnic season is over, but Blanket & Board is still serving up snacks for special occasions. The event planning company, co-owned by Tierra Thorne and Colleen Peddycord, is described as organizing pop-up luxury picnics in the city, but has continued making charcuterie trays well into the holiday season (they recently came out with ones for Thanksgiving). You can currently order trays with all the fixings, including cheese, meats, chocolate, dates and figs, baguettes, and sparkling water. The Blanket & Board website says they will also accommodate requests for vegetarian and vegan options.
Chantal's Cheese Shop
Chantal’s knows cheese. They also know how to put together some mean charcuterie and snack boards featuring all types of specialty cheeses, meats, nuts, dried fruits, spreads, and more. Options include Made In America, which offers a selection of domestic artisanal cheeses, the toffee and chocolate-filled Sweet Tooth, and the crowd-pleasing The Safe Bet. There’s also The European, which includes meat for the carnivores, and The Vegetarian for the festive herbivores.
Cookie tables aren’t just for weddings. They can become the centerpiece at your party, too. DiAnoia’s Eatery has holiday cookie platters full of Italian-style treats, including ones that are gluten and dairy-free. Choose either a large ($76) or small ($39) platter featuring traditional pignoli, Italian rainbow, biscotti, and other flavors, as well as chocolate chip, all baked fresh by the DiAnoia’s bakery team. Pre-order for pick-up up until Thu., Dec. 23.
Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery
There is something especially sweet about macarons, with their chewy cookie outsides sandwiching beautifully flavored creams. Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery sells batches of macarons all made under the owner, a classically trained pastry chef from Brittany, France. Not only are they reasonably priced (boxes range from $11-33), but these little cookies come in an array of flavors. Your guests will have a hard time choosing between the classic chocolate or vanilla bean, or being more adventurous with lavender poppy seed or peanut butter and jelly. Even better, they’re naturally gluten-free.
Pittsburgh Popcorn Company
Impress your guests with a full-on popcorn bar from Pittsburgh Popcorn Company. The local chain lets you choose from a wide-variety of flavors that you can mix and match. If needed, they can also provide a set-up that includes self-serve scoops and take-home bags for guests. Choose from a long list of sweet or savory flavors, ranging from classic movie theater butter to the more offbeat watermelon, as well as the more seasonal Candy Cane, Pumpkin Spice, or Ginger Snap Cookie.
The Pretzel Shop
Give your holiday party a delicious boost with pretzel bites and more from The Pretzel Shop. The company has trays in various sizes that come with options like salted or unsalted bites, as well as cinnamon and sugar. They also offer “dipstick” trays with dips, mini pretzel hot dogs, and mini pepperoni rolls. Pair them with trays of cookies or brownies, which the Pretzel Shop also offers.