Creating The Perfect Appetizer Board

by George Cecchetti

It's summer time, with the heat comes the pressure of having company over for a variety of different reasons. Whether it be graduation parties, family BBQ's, pool parties or an unexpected visit from the in-laws, at some point this summer we will find ourselves scrambling for ways to feed people. Creating an appetizer board is a great way for people to snack over a glass of wine or keep your company from getting too hungry until the main course is ready. Here are some suggestions of foods that can be utilized during the summer time to create a healthy and flavorful appetizer board that all can enjoy.

One of the biggest keys to a complete appetizer board is to have a variety of flavorful cheeses. Be creative when choosing your cheeses and do not be afraid to try something that is out of the ordinary. Standard cheeses like a sharp cheddar or jack cheese are always a good staple but even trying a fresh brie or smoked gouda can really test your palate in a different way (especially for those enjoying wine with their appetizers). The great thing about cheese on an appetizer plate is the endless amount of pairs that be used with them.

A few examples of foods that can be paired with cheese are a variety of flavorful crackers, meats such as salami, prosciutto and capocollo. Another idea is the use of jams and chutneys that can be used as a spread on crackers and will match extremely well with cheese. Try a chutney with a little bit of spice to create something unique and delicious.

Fresh toasted bread along with Calivirgin Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Calivinegar Balsamic Vinegar for dipping create a sweet and savory snack that everyone knows and loves. Using a fresh focaccia bread can take this snack to the next level. Adding in some legumes and nuts such a walnuts, almonds and macadamia are great as well.

Another great way to maximize your appetizer board is to add the salty taste of peppers and olives to it. Finding some wax peppers, bell peppers and Calivirgin Flavored Olives can help bring a change of pace to your appetizer board, and the olives can even be used as a double for those who are martini drinkers. Fresh and dried fruits are also great options for a well balanced appetizer tray. Dried figs, chilled grapes, dates and fresh or dried mango will be a summer time hit.

There are a plethora of enticing foods that can be used in your appetizer board. Make your appetizer board unique to your liking and do not be ashamed to try something that is out of the ordinary. The ultimate goal of a good appetizer board is to keep your guests entertained and enjoying themselves from second they arrive. Be creative and enjoy the company that you will be generating over your delicious appetizer board.