Warm weather and picnics go hand in hand. Whether it’s a stroll in the park, an evening on the beach, or a romantic brunch date, there’s nothing like enjoying good eats while surrounded by your favorite company and a scenic view. While picnics revolve around food- what you serve doesn’t need to be complicated, just delicious.
Charcuterie boards have made their comeback. No longer is charcuterie confined to just appetizers- the wide variety of proteins and sweet & savory complements allow you to craft a delicious meal for any occasion. The bite-sized morsels of charcuterie are not only perfect for sharing, but also offer a fresh, lighter alternative to the traditional picnic foods such as potato salads and sandwiches that make you ready for a nap shortly after.
If you want to wow your guests, show off your creativity, or play with new flavor pairings, a mini charcuterie board is the perfect picnic partner.
If you have ever crafted a charcuterie board for an event, you may know the feeling of worry that comes with transporting it. That’s why a mini picnic board crafted inside a portable, lipped tray is the perfect choice. A disposable option made of recyclable material is ideal for these smaller scale picnic boards.
Planning an intimate picnic for two? We recommend using a bamboo board about 12 x 10 inches in size. If you have more than two guests, create a few mini boards with a variety of flavor profiles!
Everyone knows the picnic is only as good as the food. So, one of the picnic planning steps is putting together your fare – most importantly, the meat.
Planning the proteins first allows you to build from a specific flavor and texture when choosing your pairings. Don’t know where to begin? Here are some delicious cured meat options we recommend incorporating into your next picnic board:
Prosciutto is crafted using a Raised Responsibly™ hind pork leg and sea salt, then is slow aged between 12 and 18 months to produce an earthy, rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture. It pairs well with a mild fontinella or creamy brie cheese and fresh melon. Elevate your board with a prosciutto flower to impress your guests, and don’t forget to finish with your favorite Pinot Grigio.
The king of salami. Felino gives your board a ruby red pop of color and provides a dazzling flavor, rich with peppercorns and wine. It is delicately spiced and slow-aged to bring out the sweet flavor. Felino pairs perfectly with nutty Parmigiano Reggiano and a light, sparkling red Lambrusco. When serving, we recommend cutting each slice on a bias at about 1/8-inch think. This will help ensure you and your guests enjoy a perfect balance of zesty peppercorn and smooth fat.
A traditional, slow-roasted and uniquely mild Italian sausage sometimes studded with pistachio accents. It is the perfect addition to any picnic platter and pairs well with a sharp Pecorino or cheddar cheese, briny green olives, and sweet figs. Mortadella’s rich flavor makes Chianti wine a perfect complement.
This simple salami comes in both a mild and spicy version, crafted with cracked black peppercorns for a mild taste and crushed Calabrian red pepper flakes for a spicy flavor. Explore a variety of pairing options with a creamy goat cheese spread, coarse ground mustard, and toasted bread. Show off your salami by folding each slice into quarters and fan them out like a deck of cards for an effortless arrangement.
A unique, lesser-known charcuterie gem, Bresaola is made from lean beef instead of pork. Often referred to as “Beef Prosciutto,” it differs from traditional prosciutto because Bresaola uses warm, aromatic spices that accentuate the taste of the lean beef. It pairs perfectly with a crusty bread and classic cheese such as aged Parmigiano. For wine pairings, Bresaola works well with bubbles, full-bodied whites, and robust reds.
A picnic board is not complete without dressing it up with seasonal, flavorful accompaniments. Customizing your board with fruits, nuts, olives, dips, and crackers or bread simply adds the finishing touches to a delicious and creative picnic board.
During spring or summer, add in fresh sliced melon, crisp greens, a mini jar of sweet honey, and a few acidic gherkins or marinated olives to your board.
Spice up your fall picnic board flavors with candied pecans or walnuts, toasted pumpkin seeds, dried figs or cranberries, and finish with a crisp fall ale or cider.
The slicing of the chosen meats is just as important as the flavor combos on your board. Prosciutto and bresaola should be cut paper thin, while mortadella and soppressata can be cut more to a medium thickness. Felino, on the other hand, should always be cut at an angle and about 1/8-inch thick to deliver the perfect fat and peppercorn ratio. If you are slicing the meat yourself, we recommend slicing them while still cold to ensure the fat does not smear.
It can be tricky to determine portion sizes when serving a non-traditional meal such as a charcuterie board, but we recommend preparing approximately two ounces of meat per guest. Our available pre-sliced options range from 1.5 to 6-ounce packages, making it easy to determine how much you’ll need.
If it happens to rain on your picnic parade and you must move the fun inside, we recommend leaving the meat out for about 30 minutes prior to serving to allow the full flavors to shine through.
When it comes to the arrangement of your charcuterie, there are no “rules”. This is your chance to get creative! We recommend mixing up the colors, textures, and flavors and try using different folds and shapes to arrange your meats. Scatter those “seasonal extras” to fill in space and add pops of color.
There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to picnic – that’s what is so great about it. Picnicking is all about bringing together your favorite foods, friends and family, and the perfect spot to create unforgettable memories.
No matter how simple or elaborate your next picnic occasion is, bring along a mini charcuterie board to delight your guests with a delicious variety of flavors.