Grazing Charcuterie Boards
Posted on January 04 2022
‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Traditionally a board served with meats, cheese, crackers would be called a charcuterie board or cheese board. However you can call it anything you want. A BBQ Board that features ribs, pork belly, chicken wings, smoked sausages and corn bread? Go for it. Little ramkins of different BBQ sauces for dipping along with pickled green beans and large whole pickles. I can picture it now and my mouth is watering.
Veggie board to highlight your summer vegetables from the garden along with dips and sauces to add a bit of a kick? Sure, why not? Green beans, sugar snap peas, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, onions, asparagus, green, bell, cayenne and all sorts of other peppers. Brussel sprouts, broccoli radishes and more - oh my, count me in.
Another one of my favorites is a Brunch Board. Think of all of the options you can arrange on a brunch board. Scrambled eggs, silver dollar pancakes, english muffins, toast, jellies, bacon, ham, oranges, strawberries, pineapple, honey dew, coffee, tea, OJ, the possibilities are almost as endless as a charcuterie board.
One term I have seen popping up lately that I can get behind is what they are calling a Grazing Board. It is a perfect name as it accurately describes what it is. You leave a board out during a party and people come by and graze when they feel like it. A charcuterie board, in my opinion, is a grazing board and I like to leave mine out all party long while constantly refreshing it.
When a cheese, meat, veggie, cracker, fruit runs low on the charcuterie board - I replenish it with the same, or I will introduce a new item to the mix. This is even more important if your party or get together is more informal like a cookout, a slow cooker party or a get together where no real meal is being served.
Step one in having a grazing charcuterie board is having a big enough board to act as a meal carrier or have multiple medium sized ones. In my home I have several large charcuterie boards - 4+ feet in length that can tackle just such a job. I keep the oversized charcuterie boards in the hallway closet and take it out every now and then even if I am not using it to give it a nice coat of mineral oil.
If using multiple medium sized grazing charcuterie boards this can be a good way of separating items. Maybe separate them by having one grazing charcuterie board featuring just meats, another just cheeses, one for fruits and another grazing charcuterie board for vegetables.
Or you can arrange boards by country of origin of each item, cheeses, meats, veggies that originate from Spain on one charcuterie board, items from Italy on another. Or just start rotating the boards around, as space clears up, condense, clean the empty one and reload in a little bit. This is a great way to keep fresh stock out there, but also have a chance for the stuff that has been out for a while to be picked at.
If you can get your hands on them, old used slate roof tiles make fantastic cheese boards. Since they are slate they can be written on with chalk and you can write down the name of each cheese. Otherwise the wood ones work well for all types of cheese boards, charcuterie boards, grazing boards or BBQ boards. Just try not to use glass or plastic - they don't feel right - but if that's what you have, go ahead and use them.
Even though I sell wood charcuterie boards - I do not suggest buying another one just because you want it. If there is a need there - that is great, please shop and explore all of our charcuterie boards - but if you have one already, by all means keep on using your current charcuterie board. I can assure you though - if you buy a RusticWares board - it will be generational. A board you can pass down from one generation to the next. They are made to last because they are made from quality New England hardwoods like cherry, maple and black walnut.
RusticWares will soon have a feature category on it’s website for grazing charcuterie boards. These boards will be more expensive because of the size and include free shipping. Shipping larger charcuterie boards can get really expensive really quick. However we want to give the people what they want, so if you are in the market for a really big board to fit your grazing board party - RusticWares has the solution.
Large grazing charcuterie boards will be available starting in January 2022. Please remember the hefty price tag that accompanies these boards includes free shipping, and getting large boards to people can be close to $60 - $100 for some parts of the country. I still don’t understand how Amazon can give away shipping when there are obvious costs associated with it. To ship my average sized board via USPS in their Flat Rate Priority box it costs $21.35. That's not small potatoes when most boards have a sub $100 price tag on them.
Prior to COVID there was a move towards home. Spending more time at home, entertaining at home, home renovations, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, etc. The word staycations started popping up almost 15 years ago, COVID pushed that movement into lightspeed forward but more insular. Not having big get-togethers, but staying at home with either immediate family or close friends.
I predict at some point during 2022 we will be mostly out of the COVID mess and things will begin to return to somewhat normal, the new normal as they call it. And as much as people are going to want to rush out and party like crazy in big groups, I believe the desire to entertain at home will always be there and even grow. Lots of people did home renovations during the 2+ years of COVID and are probably eager to show off their new kitchens and outdoor living spaces. Not to mention people who moved and got bigger houses with more space to spread out.
With the push to return to normal I hope is a new, bigger charcuterie grazing board movement. Highlight different types of cheeses outside of cheddar and swiss. Pepperoni and salami should just be the very start. Try pickled everything, smoked olives and brined cabbage. Lets get back at it and explore.