Life is full of things to celebrate, and you can’t go wrong with a snack board to serve for those special occasions. Whether you’re hyped about graduation or planning a movie night with friends, you can impress the shit out of them by presenting an amazing snack board.
Choose Your Board and Accessories
You can technically build up a snack board on any surface, but if you want it to look next level, start with an actual board. Even wooden cutting boards can work for this, or try some wooden trays. You have options, so get creative!
Next up, make it easy for guests to grab what they want by adding some little bowls and spoons for any dips or items that might roll off the board otherwise. How many will depend on the number of messy additions you have.
Pick Your Flavors
What takes an ordinary board to the next level? Planning your flavors ahead of time. Ever heard of taste elements? There are five of them that enhance flavor. They are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. Ideally, you want a perfect balance of these across the board. Let’s look at how to accomplish this.
Sweet: To create the perfect blend of flavors, include something sweet on the board, but don’t overpower the other options. It’s not a dessert plate! Sweet options include things like fruit (grapes, dried fruit, pomegranate, cherry tomatoes, etc.). Dips and sauces like honey can add sweetness in another way.
Sour: Add a bit of zing to your board by including sour items to complement the salt. Tiny pickles are a popular choice, but don’t stop with boring gherkins. Add some pickled vegetables for more interest.
Salty: The majority of snack boards offer an abundance of salty foods, which is where you’re really going to focus your attention. Everything else is there to complement the salt! You can divide this section into two key parts, cheese and meat. Aim to have three to five of each.
Meats can include dry sausages like prosciutto, salami, and soppressata, among others. Try to get a variety of high-end meats if you really want to impress folks. Deli meats are fine for a frat party, but those with more sophisticated tastes will enjoy trying unique flavors.
Next up is the cheese, which is really the star of the show. You’ll want at least one sharp cheese that will give your snack board a bit of bite, like an aged cheddar (aim for something aged longer than ten years). It’s a good idea to pick a softer cheese, too, like brie, and a milder cheese like smoked gouda to round out the flavor profile. Don’t skimp on quality!
Bitter: Finally, a little touch of bitter will help set off the food you’ve assembled nicely. Herbs and greens like arugula or sorrel can add this bitter element, as can nuts. Roasted almonds really take things up a notch and give you just enough bitterness to enhance the other flavors.
Umami: Olives, roasted garlic, and mushroom chutney are just a few of the things that bring umami to your snack board. These can be used somewhat sparingly, but make sure they’re there, or you’ll feel like something is missing.
Wondering how much you need of each thing? Aim for around 2 oz. of meat per guest, 2 oz. of cheese per person and a quarter cup of nuts and dried fruit per person. Everything else should be in eye-pleasing amounts.
Assembling Your Board
Start by placing the cheese, the real star of the show, on your board. Want to make it simpler for people to load up on the deliciousness? Slice or cube the cheeses. You can then place the bowls of chutney, honey, olives, etc. throughout your space and arrange your meat around these and the cheese. To avoid everything just looking like it was plopped on the board, get creative and roll the meat and add a toothpick or fold it up and place between other elements to give more of a 3D look to the board.
Now you’re ready for the minor elements, because let’s face it, everyone is going for the meat and cheese. Handfuls of nuts, dried fruit, and other items can be placed around the major elements. You’ll also want to include some carrier elements or crackers for people to pile everything on. Try to make it look elegant, though that trick is really up to the final ingredients.
Garnishes are the finishing touch for any dish and your cheese and meat board is no exception. Add sprigs of rosemary, bunches of parsley or a few lemon peel curls throughout the board to make it look really nice.
You now have a stunning board you can present to the world! Time to impress your friends. And if you need a helping hand with your board, you can’t go wrong with our Sharp as Sh*t Cheddar Cheese.