Grazing tables have really taken off around the world. They’re extremely popular because of their beautiful, plentiful look and sheer abundance of deliciousness. Intagrammable beauty + mouth-watering goodness = a winning recipe!
If you’re strapped for interesting grazing table ideas, one thing we love to focus on is local foods. Your grazing table doesn’t have to be all local, of course (and ours aren’t always), but it feels great to support Australian makers where you can. So, we’ve pulled together the ultimate local-focused grazing table ideas (and our best cheese reccs!) for you.
The Ultimate Local-Focused Grazing Table Ideas (and Our Best Cheese Recommendations)
Before you start buying food, and certainly before you start plating it, you want to be prepared. That means making sure you have a good idea of how many people you’ll be serving, whether you’ll be inside or out and how much food you’ll need per person. If this is going to be a substitute for dinner, then you’ll certainly need to allow for more than if it’s pre-dinner nibbles, or arvo snacks.
Once you’ve got that sorted, then you need to figure out what you’re going to serve. When it comes to grazing table ideas, here are the main categories that we like to include for a truly abundant look, feel and taste.
Start with the Cheese
It might be our bias but we see cheese as the centrepiece of any grazing table. And when it comes to cheesy grazing table ideas, we have them in spades!
We like to combine a soft, a hard, a stinky and a blue to give that all around balanced feel. It also tempts the palate with a unique combo of flavours and textures (this is the same approach we take with our Therapy Box, our Globetrotter Box and many of our cheesemakers boxes). And when you go with that approach, you simply can’t go wrong!
When it comes to specifics, here is one of our favourite all-time grazing table cheese combinations:
- SOFT – Triple Cream Brie, Bream Creek Dairy. A beautiful Tasmanian cheese, this triple cream just melts on your tongue. Rich in flavour with a creamy mouth feel, it will be a sure-fire favourite on your grazing table.
- HARD – David Brown Select Cheddar, Milawa Cheese Co. An aged cheddar really enriches your grazing table and is a well-loved addition. And Victorian-based Milawa cheddars are some of the best around. This variety has a sharp and fruity taste and is well aged and smooth on the palette. In fact, it’s so good the cheesemaker put his name on it!
- STINKY – Petit Rouge, L'Artisan Cheese. Another delicious Victorian offering, with a French influence, this cheese begins life as a traditional camembert but becomes more fragrantly pungent as it ages. And the striking orange hue of this washed-rind cheese means it will also look stunning on your grazing table.
- BLUE – Shadows of Blue, Tarago River. This blue is creamy and rich and is one of our most popular. Serve it at room temperature and your cheese knife will glide right through delivering the aromas and silkiness of blue for you and your guests to savour.
Crackers and Breads
Once you’ve got your cheeses sorted, the rest of the items tend to fall in place around those. So next consider your crackers and breads. You’ll want to think about what will work best with your cheeses. For your soft cheeses consider a robust wheat and dried fruit cracker that can bear the burden of a smear of cheese pressed across it. These also work great for blues.
For your hard and aged cheeses a breadstick (with delicious prosciutto) is a great choice. And for your stinky (and any cheese where you want it to simply sing), we love our Fleur Sourdough Lavosh by Silver Tongue. These are yummy on their own, but also let the cheese flavours shine through.
Meats, meats and more meats
If you’re using meats in your grazing table, we like to include both mild varieties and spicy, flavourful types. They suit different palates and different accompaniments which means everyone can find something they like. Salami, prosciutto, shaved ham and turkey – all are a wonderful additions.
Our favourite approach is to head down to our local deli and ask for suggestions to accompany your cheese choices. There will be some beautiful choices for you!
Adding dips to your platter increases the visual appeal and the taste and textures that you’re offering. Hummus is always a favourite choice, but beetroot dip gives you that vibrant purple colour that’s incredibly alluring. And include a range of flavours, like basil or sun-dried tomato pesto, roasted bean and carrot dip or caramelised onion, for example.
Produce is one of the most important parts of your grazing table. And you’ll want to ensure you meet a few different elements, including fresh, dried and pickled or preserved to give that balanced and utterly delicious taste sensation.
For fresh we love berries, slices of pear and apple and even pineapple (which goes so well with blue cheeses). Don’t forget your carrot slices, cucumber rounds and crunchy radish. Then we add in dried fruits. Apricots, dried cranberries, dried figs and dates are some of our go-to favourites. And last but not least, you want your pickled or preserved fruits and vegetables. These are your tangy olives, sun dried tomatoes and preserves like chutneys, jams and pastes. (We especially love the Quince Paste and Pear & Pink Pepper Paste by Ugly Duck Fine Foods).
One that is always on our grazing tables are the Marinated Baby Figs by Far Meadows Lodge. If you haven’t tried these handmade, local marinated figs yet, you’re in for a tremendous treat!
When you’re pulling together your grazing table ideas, don’t forget the sweets. You can either keep these separate and serve to your guests later, or (and this is our personal preference) just mix them in with the other items. We love including a little dish of honey, some honey roasted or cinnamon-coated nuts and some slightly sweet sesame-seed biscuits. Our all-time favourite, however, will always be chocolate.
When it comes to local chocolate, we can’t go past the luscious offerings from Kokopod. Think Raspberry & Chilli, Orange and Fennel, Lemon Myrtle and Macadamia, Rosemary and Sea Salt and Fig and Nib dark chocolates. Trust us, these are taste sensations that will leave your guests surprised and delighted.
We’ve got everything you need to fulfill all your wildest grazing table ideas.