In the past year, charcuterie board’s cousin, the grazing platter, has become more popular. A grazing platter is very similar to a charcuterie board with the focus still on bite-sized eats, but it has a wider variety of foods. Pretty much nothing is off limits. I’m talking fruit, candy, nuts, chips, popcorn, cookies, etc. The beauty of the grazing board is that it involves a little bit of everything.
That being said, it’s a lot of fun to design a grazing platter around a theme, which is exactly what we’re doing today. With the start of the NFL season right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to create a Colts-themed grazing platter with blue and white foods.
So I’m going to walk you through the steps of preparing a grazing platter.
First, start with a big serving platter. Large wooden boards, either rectangular or circular, look really nice and are really sturdy. They’re especially great if they have a lip because it makes them more portable. Crate and Barrel has some really nice options (like this one), but they’re a little on the pricier side. I recommend looking at HomeGoods for some cheaper options. Plastic serving platters and even regular old cutting boards will do the trick. What’s most important is you have a lot of space to work with.
Second, let’s talk about the food on the platter. I like to incorporate the five basic tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami (savory). However, depending on your mood or theme you can focus on just one or two of the tastes. For example, the platter picture here with candy and popcorn focuses on sweet and salty.
Third, arrange everything on the platter.
- The first thing I do it place a few small bowls on the platter to hold things like jams, dips, and small candies.
- Add bigger items, like cheese, to the board next. It’s fun to play with the shapes and sizes of the cheese. For example, it can be served as a wedge, a circular block, or slices.
- After the big items are in place, add fruit, crackers, and any other medium-sized snack items.
- Sprinkle in the smallest items, like nuts and dried fruits, for the finishing touches. This is the time to fill in any gaps.