Charcuterie Boards, or as we at The Grazing Goose likes to call them: “Grazing Boards” have been all the buzz on social media in recent years. Sometimes it can be intimidating trying to replicate the boards we see our favorite influencers posting, but with a little practice and these 10 great tips, your board will be Insta-perfect!
1. Start with a good foundation.
Selecting the right cutting board or tray is the best way to set up your grazing board for success. We recommend using your favorite cutting board or tray that is simple and won’t distract from your board. Something with tall sides can also make gaining height in your board easier. Stay away from anything that is too large and you may have trouble filling it up. You want your board to look abundant!
2. Choosing the right ingredients.
If possible, you should always select high quality ingredients for your board. The perfect combination of cheeses is going to be a soft cheese, semi-soft cheese, and hard cheese. This will ensure there is something for everyone on your board. You should also choose 2-3 varying meats that will complement your cheeses. Always include something sweet like jam or dried fruits, and something salty like olives or cornichons.
3. Use color.
When shopping, be mindful of how many colors will be on your board and choose colors that will complement each other. It is easy for your board to look beige or brown if your board consists mostly of meats/cheeses. Always include colorful seasonal fruits, bright jams, and always include something green!
4. Like things shouldn’t touch.
Don’t be afraid to let everything mingle. We see it often where people will put all their meats in one corner and cheeses in the other. A great rule to follow is that like things shouldn’t touch. You want to create a lot of variety on your board. When all the meats and cheeses are together you start to get that beige/brown look.
5. Use shapes.
When cutting your cheeses and arranging your meats it is important to create varying shapes. Do not place everything in straight lines. Try different cheese cutting techniques to create circles, squares, and triangles. Don’t be afraid to mix it up!
6. Create dimension.
Going back to choosing the right board/tray—if you have a board/tray with high sides or a lip it is going to be much easier to create dimension. Use portion cups or ramekins to pull jams or olives higher on your board. Stack cheese cubes in the corner of your board to create height. Overlap ingredients to create a seamless look.
7. Make your board easy to eat.
After spending so much time crafting the perfects board, you’ll want to make sure people enjoy it! Pre-cut all cheeses into single servings that are easy to grab. Some may feel uncomfortable using cheese knives when all the ingredients are so close together. If you keep everything in bite-size pieces, it makes it easy to grab.
8. Leave no empty spaces.
You’ll want to fill all the empty space on your board to create the look of abundance. Fill small spaces with nuts or small dried fruits. You should never see the bottom of your board (until you start eating of course).
9. Choose a wildcard ingredient.
One way to make your board stand out is to choose something out of the box. Pick something most people have never had before. An interesting cheese or unique jam can take your board to the next level. Adding something simple like honeycomb not only adds visual interest but is something most people haven’t tried.
10. Have fun.
Creating a grazing board should be a fun and creative experience! If you had fun creating your board everyone will enjoy it; after all, you’ve put tons of love and effort in to!
If you would like to get hands on guidance on how to craft the perfect grazing board, join a “Boarding School” class.
Visit apicnicinthepark.com/the-grazing-goose-boarding-school to purchase tickets.
—Ava Kivley at The Grazing Goose, IG: @ the.grazinggoose