How to Nail Grazing Platters Trend for Weekend Lounging

How to Nail Grazing Platters Trend for Weekend Lounging

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Andries Benedetti, a Flemish Still Life Painter from 1640s, would be smiling ear to ear looking at his lavish food paintings come alive as Grazing Platters in 2021. A tastefully laid tray full of assorted cheese, dips, fruits, crackers, bread loaves, nuts and flowers is called a Grazing Platter. 

Andries Benedetti Food Painting
Andries Benedetti Food Painting

A beautiful ‘pick-me-up-now-and-eat’ trend that started in Australia and travelled the world courtesy Instagram and Pinterest, alas isn’t the original precursor of Food FOMO. Renaissance Painters in fact painted still life of the royals and the wealthy by showing their indulgent and decadent tastes of everyday food. Similar to those lavish table setups in the fifteen century Renaissance times, Grazing Tables began as a trend in Australia few years ago wherein food was laid decadently across the table to create informal set up rather than intimidating luxurious buffet. On a large table, a thin sheet of paper is placed. Bite-sized hors d’oeuvres are laid out from one end of the table to another. Fruits, olives, cheese and dips are a constant. Cold cuts, exotic nuts, crackers, seafood, vegetable sticks, peppers, bread, make it as simple or as exotic as you want.

This trend slowly adapted from table set-ups to platter displays to showcase bite-sized food items for cozy gatherings. The Grazing Platters have become the IT trend not just for hosting parties and small get-togethers but also as gifting option for house-warming, birthdays and festivities. 

Grazing Platters
Grazing Platters

Food, as they say, is the ultimate bonding agent. What better than learning the art of nailing grazing platters and surprising the loved ones?

Elements Required for Grazing Platter 

  • Wooden | Ceramic |Brass Platter or Tray 
  • Choice of Cheeses
  • Dips & Sauces 
  • Seasonal Fruits 
  • Crackers 
  • Bread Loaves 
  • Cold Cuts / Vegetable salads 
  • Nuts 
  • Greens &/or flowers 

The key thing about creating a grazing platter is allowing the guests to have the luxury of picking and eating directly from the platter rather than opting for side-plates. It acts as a great conversation starter and sets the mood cozy enough for the long evenings. 

Grazing Platters can be your food art, there aren’t any rules but go with the themes to maintain the flavor & colour harmony. We recommend six kind of grazing platters that you can create yourself at home, with help of artisanal products available from the market. 

  1. Tropical Platter 
Tropical Grazing Platter
Tropical Grazing Platter

With Summers at its peak, fresh juicy fruits are a must-have for this Tropical Platter. Think of mangoes, pineapple, grapes, watermelon, muskmelon and berries. With this zesty colours in place, you can now add different cheese to the platter, starting from mild to strong. Whole wheat sourdough, beetroot and pesto dips and some nuts is all you need to add the savoury to the sweetness of fruits. For the fitness enthusiasts, add in cucumbers, carrots and olives for the healthy dose. 

Maintain the harmony of colours and taste as you arrange these items aesthetically on a platter. 

  • Cheese & Charcuterie Platter  
cheese charcuterie board
Cheese Charcuterie Board

This platter is all savoury for the lovers of cheese and charcuterie (cold cuts), a perfect accompaniment for Saturday evenings or Sunday afternoons. When selecting cheese, keep 4 different kinds of cheese in mind – a hard, a soft, a blue and a goat. Present it in the order of mild to strong on a wooden platter. Add cold cuts to it according to your seasonal preferences. You can also add artisanal bread loaves, olive oil, few fruits and walnuts, almonds, figs, apricots to add in extra flavours to this arrangement. It can act as a great starter for the meals or if increased in quantity, can become a good meal in itself. 

Priyanshi Jariwala, Founder of Zorroolio, an Ahmedabad based homegrown brand that spreads the love for cheeses and table set-ups, gushes about the growing fondness for grazing platters among food-lovers in Gujarat. Reminiscing about her journey of Zorroolio, she shared “I had seen the trend start in Australia. For the love of cheese, I made these platters for a friend and then the word spread around and the next thing I knew, I was making different kinds of platters for the get-togethers”.

Talking about different kinds of platters, she gives recommendations for Mexican and Mediterranean platters that one can assemble at home, if they wish to. 

  • Mexican Platter 
Mexican Platter
Mexican Platter

Mexican Platter or Make your own Burrito, Nachos or Tacos Platter is for the spice lovers who enjoy hearty chilies. “Salsa sauces like pico pico de gallo and salsa verde can add the flavours to your platter. Toss in Guacamole, add some Mexican special cheeses like Manchengo, Panela or Cotija and arrange for queso (Mexican cheese dip ). Have a hearty meal with nachos” recommends Priyanshi for arranging an ideal Mexican Grazing Platter. 

In case you choose to go for Burrito or Tacos, stack the building blocks for Tacos and Burrito and lay them on the table with addition of cheese, spicy cold cuts and fresh green salads. Throw in a bit of edible flowers for that zesty colour palate to match the flavours of the platter.

  • Mediterranean Platter  
Grazing Platters
Grazing Platter by Priyanshi Jariwala

Closest to our Indian palate, Mediterranean platters are a big hit for the lovers of spice and flavours. The key idea is to stay close to the regional preferences of the cuisine that one selects to opt for. So be mindful of cheese, dips and breads that you pair for each region. 

“Opt for Mediterranean breads like Lavash and Pita for this platter. Add crudités like carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower and broccoli florets and cherry tomatoes. If you are up for slightly filling hors d’oeuvre, you can add in falafel balls. Add dips like hummus, toum, varied flavoured hummus, muhammara, garlicky labneh and tahini. For cheese, you can opt for feta and halloumi and you are ready with your Mediterranean platter. Use your own creativity and love for food to add in more elements” comments Priyanshi on how to set up a Mediterranean Grazing Platter. 

  • Sweet Delight Platter 
Sweet Charcuterie Board
Sweet Charcuterie Board

This is for the ones with sweet tooth. Who doesn’t like a platter full of chocolates, cookies, cupcakes, macaroons, cheesecakes and tea cakes? It is the ultimate platter for gifting when you want to say sorry, we say. Add in bit of fruit lollies for the summers to capture the spirit of the season. Follow a colour, fruit or chocolate-based theme to keep the taste and visuals alike. 

  • Hi-Tea Platter 
Hi-Tea Platter
Hi-Tea Platter

Involving all the elements of hi-tea, this platter is a perfect creation for the lazy afternoon hosting. Mini sandwiches, macaroons, tea-cakes, scones, marmalade, seasonal summer fruits, crackers and cheese is all you need to get your guests kicked about the meet-up. Add in tea and coffee dispensers at the end of the platter for a complete hi-tea vibe. The idea is to arrange the food items in a way that makes it look visually appealing and yet not at all intimidating. 

Basic DIY Platter
Basic DIY Platter

This food trend is your ultimate creativity test. Make it fancy and posh or go with the available basics in your pantry. Add in your elusive signature dips with local cheeses, seasonal fruits and crackers to make your very own DIY Grazing Platter. Did we say, this could be perfect gift for the host of the party too ? 

Falguni Patel

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