If you think the board trend has reached its peak, the answer to that is absolutely not. Grazing boards — think charcuterie boards with more than just meat and cheese —
Pick your cheeses: The best way to pick cheeses that everyone will enjoy is to pick both from a traditional style as well as one that is a bit more unique. Traditional cheeses include those of the cow, sheep and goat’s milk, so choosing one of each of those will help give the board some balance. Then, look for a bleu or stilton to bring a bit of fun and an element of surprise to the mix. Also, mixing between hard and soft cheeses is also a way to make sure each guest has a cheese to enjoy. Unsure how many cheese to pick? Start with three different kinds and expect to serve about 2 ounces of cheese per person.
Pick your meats: A grazing board is just a cheese board without meats! Start out with five different types of meat and then build out the flavor profile from there. Look for spicey choice (Chorizo or Salami), a salty or savory option (Prosciutto), a smoky cut of meat (Coppa) and a few all-around crowd pleasers, like Saucisson sec and Bresaola. When estimating the amount of meat needed, estimate 1 to 2 ounces per person.
Key accompaniments: There are so many delicious accroutremants that add flair to a grazing board. Leave room for jams (savory and spicy!), honey, olives, bread and/or crackers, pickled onions, cornicons, nut butters — the combinations are truly as endless as your imagination. Just be sure to make choices that provide a flavor complement to chosen meats and cheeses!
Fill in your board: No one wants to watch a grazing board dwindle and be afraid to help themselves to a bit more. Use dried fruits, herbs, nuts, and more to help fill in the empty spaces in between cheeses, meats and accroutremants.
Hack your board build: There are a few ways to ensure your guests get the best bite every single time. One of these ways? Keep pairings close to each other. By keeping the combination of meat and cheese that are the best paired the closest, you won’t have to worry about any off-putting tastes. However, encourage guests to mix, match and have fun. You never know what someone else’s palate prefers!
Making a smaller board? Pick one large cheese, like a brie, and build the board around that. This is both a cost-effective way to create a grazing board and it allows for lots of fun personalization.
Unsure how to pair items? Remember that what grows together goes together. A Parmesan will always work with salami or prosciutto, while manchego and chorizo are also a great combination. Fig jam almost always provides a little lift, but tomato chutney or quince paste can also work well, depending on the theme of the board.
Elevate your look with the correct platter. By using a platter or dish with square sids, it can enable an easier and more elegant grazing board design. Round corners are harder to fill in and leave gaps that may look awkward.
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