Party platters, Cheese Plates, Meat Platters for an elevated social experience.
For a host of an event, a Party platter is the focal point of social eatery. "Charcuterie" refers to a wide array of different cured meats beyond salami, pepperoni and prosciutto. Party Platters features various cheeses, crackers, spreads and nuts and accompaniments. What exactly makes a Party platter so popular? Well, they're extremely functional: you can adjust the items for various events and taste. There is no wrong Party Platter - one can easily scale the portions based on the number of family and friends. The Party experience works pretty well with any budget and event.
Great Party boards are paired with fine wines and can be adapted to any event of the year. Perhaps the main reason is that they require zero culinary skills to assemble. Sure, there's an art to making a Party Platter look as impressive as the ones you've seen all over the world. Don't worry—we're here to give you some wow-worthy Party board ideas for your next gathering or holiday party.
Wine and Party Boards is all about pairing a delicious Party board with some of your favorite wine or drink. For an easy executable menu your family and friends are going to enjoy, your meat and cheese board will serve as a light party starter.
BASICS OF A Party BOARD:
• Bread or crackers in a range of textures from crunchy to crisp
• Cured meats (appetizer portion: 2-4 oz/light meal portion: 5-6 oz) – salami, prosciutto, chicken liver mousse, pork rillette, and soppressata are good options
• Cheese – brie, burrata, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, sharp cheddar, goat cheese, and pepper jack are popular choices
• Olives, pickles, artichokes
• Nuts – almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc
• Dried or fresh fruit and vegetables
• Jelly, jam, and/or honey
• Dips/sauces like hummus, olive oil, etc.
Sparkling wine and Champagne are the best types of wine to pair with Party boards because they are lower in alcohol and higher in acidity, making them the ideal compliment for the salty characteristics of Party boards. If you decide to pair a red wine with your Party board, seek a wine that has lower tannins and alcohol volume. Alternatively, if you have a specific wine in mind, adjust the selection of cheeses you place on your Party board. For example, Cheddar and Gouda are a good pair with Cabernet Sauvignon. If the wine you’d like to serve is older, pair with an old/firm cheese.
It originated as a French tradition, charcuterie (pronounced "shahr-ku-tuh-ree") is the art of preparing and assembling finely crafted, cured meats and cheese products. The chef that prepares the meat is called a Charcutier. The charcuterie concept has become very popular outside of France, and has evolved to include a variety of foods besides just meat and cheese. In essence, a charcuterie board has become the party boards or party platter. It is an assortment of artisan dips, spreads, breads, olives and accompaniments, all delicately arranged on a serving board. Whether you call it a Party plate or a charcuterie board, it’s easy to make when you start with quality smoked, cured meats. The perfect Party plate will contain at least 3 to 5 types of Party Platters representing different styles and textures, plus something acidic, like pickles, and something sweet like fruit chutney to complement the flavors. Nuts, fresh and dried fruits, breads and crackers also make great accompaniments. A Party platter is perfect for entertaining, cocktail hour bites, and even for convenient and satisfying snacking. Because Party Plates are always ready-to-eat, making a visually stunning party plate is easy.
In the first century AD, the Romans may have been the first to regulate charcuterie as a trade. The French have also had some influence and local guilds regulated tradesmen in the food production industry. The guilds that produced charcuterie were those of the charcutiers. The members of this guild produced a traditional range of cooked or salted and dried meats, which varied, sometimes distinctively, from region to region. The only "raw" meat the charcutiers were allowed to sell was unrendered lard. The charcutier prepared numerous items, including pâtés, rillettes, sausages, bacon, trotters, and head cheese (brawn). These preservation methods ensured the meats would have longer shelf lives. The original concepts of the Party platter are still present in most fine Party boards. Traditional Party boards also provided sophisticated spreads. Here are some classic french spreads:
Pâté and terrine are very similar: The term pâté means paste in french. Pate’s are very popular in most sophisticated charcuteries’ as a spread for artisan breads, toast or even crackers. It is traditionally made using duck or chicken liver, mixed with wine and spices until it's cooked down into a spreadable texture.
Rillettes are slow-cooked meat that is pulled or shredded. This french specialty is similar to a pate but with a coarser texture. This Party item is traditionally cooked from rabbit, goose, and/or duck. Rillettes are served cold or at room temperature as a spread for artisan bread or toast.
Mousse is very similar to a Pate or Rillettes, but the main difference is that it has a much smoother, lighter consistency that is similar to pate. The most popular mousse is made from chicken liver, which is often prepared with spices, cream, and a touch of wine. It’s served cold and tastes great on toast or even pieces of fruit.
What started out as a branch of cooking that involved prepared meats, has now evolved into what’s known as the shared platter or even grazing. Charcuteries around the world have transformed into an artform and is usually the centerpiece of conversation at most social gatherings. That is the beauty of the Party Platter experience - it is whatever you would like it to be. Many people mix traditional charcuterie items with modern day party twists.
Today you can find Party Platters with a Italian, Mediterranean or even Mexican perspectives. It is not uncommon to find bruschetta, hummus and salsa spreads at get-togethers. This is probably why Party Platter experiences have become popular around the world. Characterized by its ability to adapt to any culture and suite any event.