Grazing platters are arguably the standout at any event or function. They have evolved from being a simple plate of cheese cubes, cabanossi, Jatz crackers, and carrot sticks. They are now a statement for the catering tables with delicatessen meats, fresh fruit, nut varieties & gourmet dips.
Here are some tips on how you can impress a crowd with the ultimate grazing platter:
Before figuring out what snacks you’ll have, there are a few questions you have to ask yourself: how many guests will be in attendance? Is anyone allergic or intolerant to certain foods? What’s in season?
Once you have these questions answered, you can start to whirl around some ideas on what you want your platter to look like.
The size of your platter ultimately determines how big & grand you can go with your grazing board.
If you don’t have a platter, you can use a chopping board or a baking tray as an alternative. No matter what you use, you can also use baking paper on top of the surface.
The food is very important, yes, but you also don’t want to forget certain utensils are crucial to the board. Here’s a checklist of utensils you’ll need
- Cheese knives
- Plates & cutlery – throwaway ones are fine!
What is a grazing platter without cheese? Having 2-3 different types of cheeses is ideal for your board. No matter how soft or hard the cheese is, you can never go wrong with a block of cheddar or brie.
Want to steer clear of those popular cheeses? Try a Manchego or Provolone for hard cheese fans. For those who like their soft cheese, try a Gouda or Saint Andre as an alternative.
Dip it real good
Dips are great for adding colour to the board and bringing great flavours to compliment the food on your platter. Many people now make their own dips for their grazing platters like hummus or guacamole.
If time is of the essence, buying pre-made dips is also perfectly fine. There are now so many varieties of gourmets dips available at supermarkets that it will almost become one of the hardest decisions to make.
Fruit is a perfect and refreshing addition to the grazing platter. Bite-sized fruits, like grapes and berries, will always be a safe option for your platter. Dried fruit varieties are also nice additions to the platter, like dried apricot or even semi-dried tomatoes.
Fruit is seasonal, so be sure to make sure you are adding fruits that compliment the time of year you are attending P&P.
Chocolate & baked goods
Be sure to cater for those with sweet tooths! The best grazing platters are full of sweet and savoury snacks. Little blocks of chocolate or chocolate varieties can never go wrong on your board.
If you have time, adding baked goodies will bring your platter to an 11/10! People are suckers for homemade cookies, brownies, slices – the list goes on!
Fill in the gaps
Once you know what you want, it’s time to add the extras. Crackers are vital to the platter – you want crackers that won’t fall apart and handle whatever you put on it. Just like cheeses, you want a selection of biscuits on the board as well. You don’t have to limit yourself to just crackers either – sliced baguettes, pita bread, crispbread, pretzels, and breadsticks are also great choices for your grazing platter.
Adding deli meats, sliced veggies & olives can level up the savoury game of the board. Nuts like almonds, cashews and many other nut varieties can never go wrong on a grazing platter. Be sure to leave no gaps – the fuller, the better!
There is nothing people love more than taking a snap of food, let alone grazing platters! Sometimes it’s good to pre-plan where everything will be placed on the board. Keep everything wrapped and play around with the arrangement.
Once you are happy with the arrangement, go for your life! It’s important to have fun with grazing platters and let your creativity take charge.
Whether you are attending a public or private session, you can add grazing boards to your Pinot & Picasso tickets. You can also bring your own nibbles along to your session.