Boards or platters with an array of food items are nothing new. Different cultures around the world have been known to have some form of food presentation that involves an arrangement of snacks, an appetizer, or even the main dish. Examples of such arrangements would be a grazing board, a charcuterie board, or a salumi board. One thing that all of these arrangements have in common is that they must be paired with great wine. The Tuscan region of Italy offers some of the best wines in the world. From Prosecco, Rosé to the classic Chianti Red Wine, the Lornano Chianti Classico winery offers an array of great wine for your pairing pleasure. Read on to see how you can perfect your summer grazing board!
What is the difference between a grazing board and a charcuterie board?
There are often conversations on if the grazing board and the charcuterie board are the same things. The charcuterie board originates from France (pronounced Shat-coo-te-ry). It means a board that displays different types of cured meats and cold cuts, paired with cheeses and other savory accompaniments, such as olives, bread and tomatoes.
Charcuterie boards are nearly identical to an Italian salumi board. The grazing board, however, is originally known to be a grazing table. It typically includes more varieties of food items. The foods from every other type of board can typically be found in a grazing table.
While the charcuterie and salumi boards are specifically savory with a focus on cheese and meat, the grazing board can be sweet or savoury but more often a combination of both. Basically it’s a form of putting the right ingredients together in a way that compliments their individual flavors. The grazing board is just a smaller and personalized version of a grazing table. There are also other boards on the sweeter side. Such a valentines day dessert board featuring a variety of cookies, chocolates and fruits.
6 Categories to Perfect Your Grazing Board:
1. Fresh Fruits
- Grapes (Green or red)
- Oranges, mandarins or tangerines
2. Dried Fruits and Nuts
- Dried mangoes
- Coconut flakes
- Dried apricots
- Any spreadable soft cheese
- Semi-hard cheeses such as mozzarella, ricotta, and brie
- Hard cheeses such as pecorino, gouda, and blue cheese
4. Spreads or Condiments
When adding pastries, they can be sweet or savory. You can also choose between soft or hard. Some are ideal for spreads, whereas others make for the perfect solo bite.
- Seed and nutted crisps
- Bread such as baguette and focaccia.
- Fruit, seed, and nut flatbreads, such as Norwegian Rye bread or Swedish multi-seed crisp bread
Depending on the season, time of day, and occasion, the beverages to accompany a grazing board will vary.
- Rosé is perfect for summer picnics and all year long brunches
- Prosecco and sparkling wines are also perfect for picnics and brunches. Great for making light cocktails, such as mimosa’s for brunch, or a spritz for late afternoon lunch or aperitivo.
- White wine – great for a light grazing board, perfect for spring picnics and all year round
- Red wine – Perfect for autumn and winter, great for a romantic date over a grazing board, makes a great warm brew for the winter festivities, and it’s also great all year round.
Are you ready to build your own?
Here’s my recipe for an easy summer grazing board:
- 800g Green Grapes
- 1 Orange
- 2 Mozzarella cheese (190g pack each)
- 1 Ricotta cheese (125g pack)
- 5 mini focaccia bread (200-250g pack)
- 125g dried mango
- 235g Apricot, fig and almond compote
- Norwegian flaxseed and pumpkin seed crisp
- 150g pistachios
- 1 bottle Lornano Tuscan rosé
- Get a platter, tray, or board. When using a wooden board you may want to place kitchen paper over it.
- If you’re using a tray, board, or platter with a fence, then you can place the bottle of wine on it with a serving glass or two. If not you can set the wine next to the tray, so it doesn’t fall off.
- Start assembling all the ingredients onto the tray. Begin from one corner and work your way to all sides and the middle. You can place each piece of ingredient whole or break some into pieces or halves.
- Cut the oranges into halves simply because it seeing the insides is more aesthetically pleasing.
- Place the cheeses on a small plate before putting them in the tray, board, or platter.
- Make the arrangement as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Remember it’s your grazing board, so move things around as you prefer.
- Place ingredients like nuts and dried fruits into a small bowl. You can also just pour them in if the tray has fences to keep them in.
- Pour your glass of wine, share with a friend and enjoy!
All images courtesy of Immaculate Ruému (@immaculateruemu) for All the Pretty Birds.