Charcuterie or graze boards are the latest 'graze craze' in 2021 despite being around since Roman times. With more people working remotely, there is less time idling spent in coffee queues or waiting for the ubiquitous and often uninspired lunchtime sandwich. This has paved the way for more inventive lunch at-home options. And if you're like me a self-confessed grazer, work and lunch can become intertwined. That isn't to say that stopping for lunch isn't to be applauded. But as a creative, sometimes a break for lunch can turn the tap off a concept or thought process. If like many, your new workspace has become the dining table, make full use of it.
Preparing a grazing board is super easy and doesn't have to take up too much of your time. Preparation starts at the supermarket or delicatessen with most options 'ready to eat'.
To prepare your graze board, you could try the following:
- Charcuterie or Grazing Board (your canvas)
- Presentation or Serve Bowls (great for adding dips and condiments)
- Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
- Deli and/or Cured meats
- An assortment of cheeses (add some fun to your week with a country-themed cheese board)
- Nuts (cashews, brazils, walnuts)
- Fruit (apples, apricots, cherry tomatoes, grapes, mandarins, blackberries, strawberries)
- Bread or Crackers (experiment with flavour + textures to suit your cheese or cold meats)
- Dried Fruit (apricots, prunes, grapes)
- Olives and/or pickles
- Fresh cut vegetables
- Dips (sweet or savoury) and/or hummus
- Seafood (prawns, mussels, smoked salmon)
- Raid the fridge (consider dolmades, sushi or even leftovers from the night before to add an unexpected twist)
COLOUR is the best inspiration for creating a grazing board. With a stocked fridge or pantry, try experimenting with colours, flavours, and textures.
8 Fun facts about graze boards:
1. The 'charcuterie board', refers to the French word for cold meats, 'charcuterie'
2. The earliest grazing board dates back to 1 AD with most feasts lasting up to 10 hours.
3. Tapas eating in Spain or petisco snacking in Portugal are cultural variations of 'grazing' with food served in small portions for light meals during the day.
4.The Portuguese verb 'petiscar' means 'to snack'
5.The word "tapas" is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, "to cover" referring to left over meals served to inn travellers in the 19th century.
6. The longest charcuterie board was 45.73 m (150.05 ft), and was achieved by Datassential (USA) in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on 24 September 2019
7. One of the stinkiest cheeses is a French cheese from Burgundy, Epoisse de Bourgogne which has been in production since the 16th century. Aged for six weeks in brine and brandy, it is so pungent that it has been banned on French public transport.
8. Antipasto (plural antipasti) is the traditional first course of a formal Italian meal. The word “antipasto” is derived from the Latin root “anti” meaning “before” and “pastus,” which means “meal.
With your 'boardstorm' complete, get back to work!
About the author
Jennie Pinheiro is the founder of Iberica - Pretty things from Portugal which has been operating since 2009.