I had no idea what a Grazing Table was when my niece asked me to put one together for her wedding. Always up for a challenge, I happily agreed! And I’m SO glad I did.
I researched, and researched, and…. yes, more research. I read blogs, books, magazines, and watched videos until I knew exactly how to put together the best grazing table ever!
A grazing table is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a table (usually at a party) filled with wonderful cheeses, fruits, nuts, meats, and whatever else your party goers will love – around which your guests will mingle and meander all while nibbling on all the fabulous goodies you’ve carefully picked and placed. Yes, they’ll ‘graze’ around that table.
It’s a great concept. And when done properly, it’s the hit of the party
I’ll be the first to admit, it is not exactly a low-cost solution for feeding a bunch of people, so make sure it’s for a special event and it will be worth every penny!
What do you put on a Grazing Table?
- Get all your ingredients together first. Pick a variety of flavorful cheeses that have different textures and colors. Not too many, though. Usually 3 or 4 will do the trick. Cube the cheeses into different sized cubes (you’ll get a beautiful rustic look if you break of the harder cheeses by hand, leaving rugged edges on the sides).
- Select your meats (if you’re having meat) – get high quality deli meats such as smoked turkey or cut from the bone ham. Roll the slices ahead of time to give you more time for arranging on the day of your gathering.
- Fruits – 3 or 4 types. Grapes (both red and green) give you a lot of visual bang for the buck. Make sure they’re fresh and plump. Then add some colorful dried fruits such as apricots and cranberries to round out the mix.
- Nuts! The biggest hits at our party were the shelled pistachios and candied walnuts. Delish!
- Get a variety of table crackers and add a few decorative sign posts so people know what they’re grazing on!
- Arrange using different heights for various items (more detail on that below). And you’re good to go!
How the heck do you arrange a Grazing Table?
- Have fun! That’s the most important ingredient! Don’t get too wrapped up in “structure.” A grazing table really is just a bunch of food spread out all over a table. Very few plates or platters. Have fun with it and you’ll love the results.
- Having said that, you do need at least a little structure – make sure you have different elevations for different types of food. You can use old coffee cans turned upside down to elevate those grapes, or use wooden blocks with a cutting board on top to give those meats a lift.
- Once your basic structure is in place, start spreading it all out! I started with the largest items (a whole pineapple for decoration, a rustic cutting board full of the meats I had previously rolled, etc.) Then add the next largest items (a Bree cheese wheel, for example).
- Once your larger items are placed, scatter around the smaller goodies (cubed cheese, nuts, candies, and crackers).
- Finally place the most beautiful edibles (ripe red strawberries, plump colorful grapes, etc.) And pile up huge handfuls of nuts!
- That’s it! Sit back and watch your guests ohh and ahhh… (And don’t forget to take a picture!)
Congratulations – you’re all set to tackle your first grazing table. I will remind you… have fun with it. Your guests will be amazed!
Here are a couple of pictures of the wonderful wedding couple and bridal party! It truly was a spectacular wedding!