Food boards can be big or small, sweet or savoury, but they must have variety. Whether you’re sticking to a traditional meat and cheese snacking platter or trying your hand at a board full of desserts, packing it with different flavours, colours and textures is the key to a good spread. With three weeks left of the world-renowned Fifa World Cup tournament, the experts at Wren Kitchens have shared the best country-themed boards to try while watching the games, and there’s no cooking required.
A spokesperson for Wren Kitchens explained that each spread is “super easy” to make and “puts a twist” on the contents of a classic charcuterie board.
They said: “Snack boards are a fun and memorable way to engage your guests when you successfully combine the right ingredients. Not only are they incredibly popular now, but they can be extremely tasty.”
While theming the contents of your board around different countries is a great way to ensure the flavours work together, anything goes when building your sharing platter.
The team at Wren Kitchens added that no matter what the theme is, “crackers and bread are an important part” of the board. They said: “You can layer your appetisers on top for a combination of scrumptious flavours. Condiments are also a fabulous addition to a charcuterie board, such as honey, fancy mustards and chutneys.”
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For a French-inspired board, a good mix of cheese and dry meats should form the base layer. The Wren team recommended using a mixture of:
- Cheese – brie, camembert, cheddar, gouda and stilton
- Meats – dry-cured salami, cured ham and Pâté
- Fruits – grapes, strawberries, raisins, blueberries, cherry tomatoes, fig jam
- Savoury snacks – pickles, tapenade, salted nuts
- Sweet snacks – macarons, Baba au rhum and petit fours
Most major supermarkets will stock these items, including Baba au rhum, which you can buy for around £2.85.
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A Spanish-inspired board is much the same, though the fruits and snacks are more varied, with everything from apricots to olives included.
- Cheese – Manchego, Iberico, Cabrales and Mahón
- Meats – cured chorizo, Serrano ham and salchichón,
- Fruits – grapes, dried apricots, cherry tomatoes and blueberries
- Savoury snacks – Marcona almonds Castelvetrano olives (pitted) and Caponata
- Sweet snacks – churros, Buñuelos (mini doughnut bites) and polvorones
Polvorones aren’t readily available in major supermarkets, though they are available to buy on Amazon for around £8, or you can make them from scratch to save money. The almond-based cookies require just five ingredients, including plain flour, lard, raw almonds, sugar and cinnamon.
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For an Argentinian board, the team at Wren Kitchen’s recommended using a mixture of hard cheeses, both white and pink meat, and a range of sweet treats.
- Cheese – Reggianito, Mar del Plata and Fresco
- Meats – turkey, salami and prosciutto
- Fruits – grapes, prunes and dates
- Savoury snacks – walnuts, almonds, peanuts and canned octopus
- Sweet snacks – Dulce de leche, medialunas and alfajores
Tinned octopus is not the easiest ingredient to buy in major supermarket retailers, though it is stocked by Amazon and other online stores including The Tinned Fish Market. Dulce de leche can be found in some Lidl stores or made from scratch by gently simmering cow’s milk and sugar until thick and golden.
- Cheese – Cambozola, Rauchkäse and Butterkäse
- Meats – salami, Sommerwurst and Mettwurst
- Fruits – apple, grapes, strawberries, cherry tomatoes and broiled grapefruit
- Savoury snacks – pretzels, beer radish and pickled eggs
- Sweet snacks – butter biscuits, speculoos cookies and fruit Quark pastries
For an easy swap, use pre-packaged German meat selections which can be found in most UK supermarkets, including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s for around £1.90.