What’s the difference between a Charcuterie Board and a Grazing Table?
There has been a lot of hype around grazing tables, but we've been wondering - what's better, Grazing tables or Charcuterie boards? When it comes to hosting a party or a get together, food is key to keeping the party humming along, and having variety of choice is a good idea in any scenario. We have some tips to eating safely this year, to make sure everyone stays healthy!
The season of the weddings, festivals and holidays is round the clock. But when planning a wedding reception or throwing any party, one of the most common questions is difference between a Charcuterie Board and a Grazing Table when it comes to your event.
At every party, we usually want to serve dishes with beautiful presentation and grazing tables are not an exception! It not only can increase the appetite of the guests, but it sometimes reduces food waste. When the food table is decorated with different delicacies, it is important that the table should be colorful and pleasant, sometimes less food and more decorations is the answer.
When it comes to choosing between the Charcuterie Board vs. grazing table, it is vital that hygiene should not be compromised, especially during a global pandemic. Grazing tables are perfect for a wedding reception, house-warming parties, and other occasions where hundreds of guests are invited. However, you must make sure that there is enough space around the table to reduce crowding and ensure there are ample serving utensils to avoid food contamination.
It is possible that a grazing table can have several different charcuterie boards that are incorporated with different types of cheese, olives, meats, dips, nuts, a variety of bread, etc. amongst the grazing table. But you cannot go wrong with a grazing table arrangement as long as the table is decked up with different flavors and tempting dishes.
What is a Grazing table?
Sometimes people mistakenly call the grazing table a buffet. But technically, a grazing table looks different than a buffet. Generally, a grazing table is filled with dishes that can be served at room temperature for quite a good period of time.
Different charcuterie boards can be placed on a grazing table. However, the central idea behind setting a grazing table is that it should look visually appealing. You can style your table according to your preference, taste, and occasion.
A grazing table takes a lot more pre-planning and prep than a simple Charcuterie board. These usually consist of a vast array of foods and is the truly the modern day cornucopia. It's usually crafted on a table or large cutting board that is creatively stylized with meats, cheeses and seasonal fruits. There also are usually decorations included and places for plates and utensils as well. Of course, in modern times this could help spread germs, so it's advised you ensure your guests are optimally healthy and have taken the necessary precautions to keep everyone else safe.
What goes on a Grazing Table?
There are many things that you can put on your grazing table. You can impress your guests with the decoration and dishes that you put on the table. There is no specific list that you should follow while preparing the chart of groceries for a grazing table. You can place flowers to make the table look more aesthetic. However, people tend to binge on loads of cheese during the holidays and special occasions.
Generally, there is no restriction on the number of cheese you serve on a grazing table. For example, you can keep Gouda, Goat cheese, Cheddar, Gruyere, cheese soaked in Merlot, Manchego, etc. Different dishes of meat can complement a grazing table. For example, Capicola, Soppressata, Prosciutto, Genoa Salami, etc. along with these mouthwatering dishes, you place various olives, chocolates, pieces of bread, and banana chips, dried apricots, etc.
How to decorate your Grazing Table:
Flowers carrying mild fragrance are the best option to go with while decorating your grazing table. You can put dry flower petals and leaves to give the table a more pleasant look. Short vases with beautiful flowers will add magic to your table. Also, these vases are easy to move. With short vases, you can change the layout of your table at the last minute as well.
You can also maximize your décor with aesthetic candles. Aromatic candles can increase the beauty of your table, just make sure they aren't too overbearing tho. If possible, place different shelves or platforms to place your candlelights on. Decking the table with contrasting heights and lights will be visually appealing for your guests.
If you fill your table with different international delicacies like different cheese, herbs, meats, etc., you can place mini chalkboards to let your party-goers know what each item is. This will be the perfect way of informing your guests what they are putting on their plate.
How do I keep a Grazing Table fresh?
There are many people who want to arrange the grazing table ahead of time, for good reason, these things take patience and a long time to craft. In such cases, you need to ensure that the fruits and veggies stay fresh for a long period. The freshness and taste of the food matter when you are inviting people for a feast.
Veggies like carrots, radish, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. should be kept in separate containers or baskets. They can look colorful too when placed separately. There is always room for fresh fruits on a grazing table. Oranges, strawberries, figs, grapes, etc. should be kept in the covered containers so that they remain fresh for several hours.
How do you arrange Grazing Table?
Arranging a grazing table can be personalized according to the occasion. You can give your arrangement a theme, or you can add a beautiful backdrop as well. To give a more forest feel to your grazing table, you can place a bed of green leaves on a wooden table along with some short vases.
You can put different props and accessories in accordance with the theme and color scheme of your grazing table. Matching linens, serving utensils, and pieces that go well with your theme can be used. Generally, it is suggested to use a large size table so that several guests can reach the dishes at the same time. You can repeat a few dishes on the table because the idea behind a grazing table is to deck the table with food.
One of the most important tips for arranging a grazing table is to cut the food into small pieces so that the guests do not use any knives. All the items should be in bite-sized portions. Place fruits and veggies of contrasting colors and textures so that the table looks more tempting.
What is a Charcuterie board?
Charcuterie varies slightly to its older brother the grazing table in a few key areas. The Charcuterie tends to have more sightings of your typical meats and cheeses but is often accompanied by olives, and breads with jelly or jam.
Yes, grazing tables can incorporate these as well if you'd like but the Charcuterie can lean slightly more savory than sweet with additions of gherkins and such. The goal of Charcuterie is to perfectly contrast each bite with a curated array of flavor profiles, where a grazing table is more of a general smorgasbord full of all sorts of things. So, when we think of Charcuterie - it's the more artistic flavor pallet experience where a grazing table might have a more artistic visual appeal. Here is a minimalist charcuterie board to get you started if you don't have one yet.
Tips to gathering safely around shared foods:
We aren't scientists over here, but we have thought through a few preventative tips to help everyone enjoy the holidays with everyone's favorite comfort foods.
- Enlist the "If you touch it, you take it" rule.
- Remove joint serving utensils, enable your party members to use their own utensils to limit the amount of hands touching the same tools.
- Avoid creating a line to get food
- Keep your distance!
- Remind people to never cough on the grazing table or Charcuterie board.
- With washed hands, pre-separate curated meats and cheeses so others can easily grab them.
- Ask your friends and family to avoid talking over the food/ while getting food.
To sum up the difference between a Charcuterie Board and a Grazing Table:
Be it any celebration, showers, birthday parties, anniversary party, or any other occasion; you should always impress your guests. If you have to put together a beautiful arrangement of dishes, then the argument of the difference between a Charcuterie Board and a Grazing Table doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. Just remember, as long as you are taking time to prepare something fun to celebrate all of life's little moments with friends and family you can't go wrong! Go forth and celebrate!
Don't forget about the drinks too! Check out our latest stir sticks for a nice addition to the evening!