Party season is right around the corner and with that comes the inevitable conundrum of what kind of food should you serve? Should it be a sit-down dinner? Should it be casual? BYO? A cocktail party with finger food? The possibilities are endless but we're here to make it a little less stressful by suggesting you throw together a grazing platter, tower or buffet (or all of the above, you can never have too much food).
Packed with everyone's favourite snacks from cold meats & cheeses, to fresh fruits and dips, with a grazing table everyone gets a little bit of something they really want to eat (instead of being hounded to try the 'duck liver mousse') and will ensure minimal leftovers.
So put down the savoys and step away from the cheese cubes (that's rookie stuff), we have all the tips & tricks to elevate your gathering from being mediocre to magnificent.
Go for quality
One of the tricks for making your food platters the envy of all the other sadder, less impressive food platters is the quality of the produce you serve. Don't cut corners on the cost (everyone can tell). By no means are we saying buy the most expensive deli meats and cheeses but don't go for the cheapest stuff either.
If you're able to get to a market, buy everything from there. Not only are you probably supporting local business, it'll give your platter a sophisticated and un-mass produced touch.
However, if you're unable to purchase from a market, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to make your own breads and cheeses from scratch. Try your local grocer for the freshest food.
Start with a few fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables (if you want your platter to be instagrammable, try using bright, vibrant coloured fruits for the best pics), choose a mixture of seeded crackers and couple them with a few good quality cheeses (go for your favourites).
Make it colourful
Everyone wants to eat something that looks good and piling your platter with the brightest fruits, the creamiest cheeses and the tastiest looking meats is a sure-fire way to get everyone to dig in. In other words, the more colourful your platter is the better!
You can even get creative with the way you're displaying the selected food! If you have the time, try cutting vegetables into stars or watermelons into hearts. It sounds like a lot of effort but trust us when we say it'll be a big hit, especially with the little ones!
Platter by numbers
It's not a secret that things look better when they're in an odd number so try grouping your platters in threes or fives to add symmetry to any table or serving space. This includes offering three different cheeses, three different types of biscuits, three different fruits and you get the idea.
*Pro tip*, don't clump all your meats together or all your cheeses in the same spot. Try spreading them out, here and there, for a more integrated look. Start with the meats, placing them in different spots around the board. Then continue with crackers and cheeses and so on, filling in the gaps with fruit or flowers.
Keep it bite-sized
We know it can be hard to restrain yourself when it comes to buying food (or is that just us?) but try to stick to bite-size food that'll be easier for your guests to pick up and eat. You want to stay away from any food that is too awkward to enjoy or food that is super fussy and requires around 257 napkins.
Punch it up
And by that, we don't mean literally start fighting each other, instead add some fancy drinks into the mix! For a refreshing, alcoholic treat try some Spring cocktails or a sour yet satisfying lemon delight, or how about a cucumber cooler?
We know you're probably thinking, we've just put together this food platter/grazing table and now we have to make some punch? But trust us it's worth it. Eating food can get really tiring (it's a hard life) and you're most likely to get some pretty thirsty people especially if you're serving salty foods. Besides, people who are fully hydrated are more likely to eat, meaning less mess/food for you to clean up!