A popular party appetizer, charcuterie boards are an impressive go-to snack. No longer just for cheeses and meats, at-home charcuterie boards combine sweet and savory snacks for the perfect mix for entertaining.
Read on and learn how to put together a sweet and salty snack board and what types of gourmet foods to use in your mix.
Arranging a Sweet and Savory Snack Board
It all starts with the board. You can’t pick your gourmet goodies unless you know the size of the canvas you’ll have to display them. In this case, you will need a large wooden board or platter. If you’re serving items to which some guests might be allergic, such as nuts, it’s wise to put them on a separate board or in smaller bowls clustered around the snack platter, to avoid cross-contamination.
Traditional charcuterie boards include items that are grab-and-go (e.g., dried fruit, crackers, and nuts) and cheeses and meats, which can be pre-sliced or served whole for guests to cut themselves. Your snack charcuterie board can adopt the same principle: sweet and savory snacks combined with larger items that you slice for guests, such as a caramel apple or a soft cheese. If children are around, pre-slice anything big; you’ll want to keep knives away from little fingers.
Safety precautions aside, compiling your snack board is an exercise in contrasts. Sweet and savory, flavor and texture, creamy and crunchy, color, etc. By playing with these elements, you can craft the perfect assortment. Mix and match by these variables to create a board that looks visually enticing. For example, surround soft cheese and crackers (both savory; one creamy and the other crunchy) with items that are colorful and sweet (fresh fruit, trail mix, or a bowl of candy-coated chocolates).
What to Put on Your Sweet and Salty Charcuterie Board
The appeal of a charcuterie board is in its versatility. Guests have the opportunity to pile a bit of everything on their plate, then create their culinary adventure one bite at a time. To mimic the diversity and bounty of a restaurant-style charcuterie board at your next get-together, try these fun snack foods:
- Fresh and dried fruit: Fresh and dried fruit are snack board essentials for those healthy eaters who prefer natural foods. Use fruits that can be eaten whole, such as strawberries or grapes, or slice fruits such as pineapple and serve with toothpicks so guests can easily help themselves.
- Roasted nuts: This high-protein item is another healthy pick. Look for roasted nuts that are flavored with a savory spice to add a salty kick to your charcuterie plate.
- Cheese and crackers: Cheese and crackers are what guests might expect to see on one of these appetizer platters. Let your audience dictate the type of cheese you select: It could be string cheese for a kids party or baked brie slathered with fruit and nuts for a wine and cheese party geared toward adults.
- Chips: The chips category has exploded with options. Keep it traditional with a salted ruffle potato chip; go sweet and salty with a honey barbecue chip; or target health-conscious eaters with a baked veggie chip.
- Caramel popcorn: Caramel popcorn brings out the kid in everyone, which is one reason it’s so fun to serve on these sweet and salty snack boards.
- Cookies: Choose miniature-sized cookies in snackable portions. They’re perfect for little fingers and guests won’t fill up on sugar.
- Candies: Candies are a fun nostalgic treat. Serve bowls of jellybeans or gummies, or look for candy-coated chocolate pieces.
- Caramel apple slices: Gild the lily on a fall party with slices of a mouthwatering gourmet caramel apple.
- Dipping sauces: Cluster small bowls of dipping sauces around the charcuterie board. Sweet sauce options include honey, jam, chocolate syrup, or caramel. Savory options might be cheese sauce, hummus, bean dip, or salsa.
Purchase extras of these items, so you can replenish the snack board as goodies get low.
These ideas are meant to be inspiring, but feel free to take creative license when putting together your snack board.
If there’s a favorite item you love, give it a place on your board. The beauty of these entertaining platters is in their versatility. Each time you serve a party board, you can mix and match to create something a little different.
Author bio: Alex Marks is a sales manager with more than 15 years of corporate and wholesale experience, managing accounts for some of the world’s largest brands and retailers. Marks brings her sales knowledge and leadership to Mrs Prindables, overseeing the gourmet caramel apple company’s Corporate Gifting, Promotional Products, Department Store, Affiliate, and Wedding programs.