Summer. It’s a time for casual patio dinners and impromptu backyard parties.
A time for friends and family to converse over refreshing beverages and delicious food. A time for you to pull out all the stops as a host or hostess and impress your guests with a stunning grazing board!
What’s a grazing board you ask? It’s one of the hottest trends to take over Instagram, and it’s no wonder why; overflowing with colourful fruit, flavourful cheeses, cured meats, crunchy nuts, tasty spreads and more, a grazing board is the perfect way to welcome guests to your get-together.
While there’s no definitive way to put together a grazing board, here are some things I like to consider.
Tip 1 -The Tools
Just as important as the food itself is the board. Depending on how many guests you are hosting the board might be big or small. If a large live edge board (like the one we used from Once Upon a Tree) isn’t in the budget, try arranging several smaller boards or platters. Small serving bowls are also a good idea for things like the condiments and spreads. Don’t forget the little forks, knives and spreaders!
Tip 2- Variety
Variety is key when it comes to building the perfect grazing board! Not only do you want a variety of foods, you want a variety of textures and flavours. Meat, cheese, fruit, spreads, pickles, jams, chutney, salsa, crackers and nuts are just a few common items I like to include. You can even dress it all up with some fresh herbs like rosemary and mint!
Tip 3- Think ‘Bite-Sized’
There’s nothing worse than trying to one-bite an item that really should be consumed in two, so keep everything bite-sized. Plus guests are going to want to try a little bit of everything and you don’t want them to be too full before dinner.
Tip 4- Prep Ahead of Time
Build your boards and then place in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Don’t let
charcuterie stand for more than two hours. Keep cut up meats, cheese, fruit & veggies in the fridge to allow for quick and easy replenishment.
Tip 5 – Quality
If you are going to put the time into building a stunning board, make sure it’s filled with quality products (that means no cold cuts or string cheese!). Look for locally produced foods that are unique to your area. Speciality supermarkets are a great place to shop local, as they carry a variety of local artisan products.
See some of our favourite items for your grazing board, plus lots of great delicious grazing board recipes in our Love Local Food magazine!
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Britt Stager wears many hats including Food Editor for Love Local Food, Director of Social Media Marketing and REES + STAGER, Director of Real Food Creative, and blogger at My Daily Randomness, a personal lifestyle blog. Her true loves in life include her dog Maddy, coffee and dessert.