The Grazing Table Trend: A Holiday Do or Don’t?

The 1970s had fondue boards. The 80’s and 90’s, pigs in a blanket and spinach dip in bread bowls. Entertaining, just like fashion is trend-driven.

It just takes a walk down memory lane or a quick google search to see them. The current trend we’re most familiar with?

The Charcuterie Board. Present at every party and on every restaurant menu these boards are beautiful and palate-pleasing, pairing sweet with salty with rich, hitting all the taste bud notes. They’re everywhere and they’re perfect for holiday entertaining.

But what if we told you that we can take your charcuterie board and raise you 100?

What if we introduced you to the latest Pinterest and Instagram-worthy entertaining trend that’s not just one measly board but an entire table?

Trust us. We didn’t believe it until we saw it, either.

Go ahead, take a quick peek at Pinterest. Search “Grazing Table” if you dare. You’ll quickly be bombarded with mind-blowing pictures of these beautiful tables featuring an array of meats, cheeses, fruits and various condiments yet with nary a serving platter in sight.

They’re visually stunning, there’s no denying it. But are they practical?


Is this a trend you can execute for your own holiday party or is it one best kept to the entertaining experts and Martha Stewart?

We wanted to dive deep into the depths of the Grazing Table trend to see if it’s functional or doable for the common host. To figure out whether the pros outweigh the cons.

After hours of exhaustive research and Pinterest scrolling, we discovered that this is a trend you can definitely do on your own.

With a little planning and creativity, it might give you the most bang for your buck and help you host a holiday party that is deceptively low on stress yet impressively high on style (and Instagram-worthy pics).

It’s Deceptively Easy and Inexpensive to Execute

Short on serving platters but have a table? Throw some parchment paper down and start arranging. Truly, all that’s required to create these beautifully abundant displays is space, food, and creativity.

Grazing tables can be assembled with anything and everything. There are no limits to your options, so the budget is entirely within your control. The creativity of the display is the wow factor here, not the expensive cut of meat or a wide variety of cheeses.

There’ s a tremendous amount of leeway when planning a table so both the budget and the menu are entirely within your control.

Keep it Tidy and Organized

grazing tableSure, you can use serving platters to arrange your food but it does defeat the purpose of the table.

Instead, throw some brown packing paper down on the table and start stacking. Add one or two platters for elevation and a pretty little basket or bowl for a visual break but other than that, use the table as your canvas.

I know this flies in the face of traditional entertaining status quo, but this is truly a less-is-more situation. Remember, the table is for grazing. Arrange accordingly.

Pick a Theme

This entertaining trend seems to have its roots in Australia and was originally designated for weddings, where the tables were used in place of hor’s d’ oeuvres service during cocktail hours. Meats and Cheeses (think unstructured charcuterie) dominated the early days of the tables, but as the trend has spread it’s also evolved.

Limited only by your own imagination, you can choose any theme and work from there. Want to keep it simple and classy? Go with the charcuterie idea. Want something fun and unexpected? Why not try a dessert Grazing Table and invite people for cocktails and sweets?

food board

Trying to override the sit-down dinner for a dinner party? Roll out a seafood boil Grazing Table and watch your guests delight in the unexpected. There are no limits to this fun entertaining trend. Tailor it to your budget, to your lifestyle and to your imagination. Keep it fun and go with it. It’s sure to be a hit.

Keep it Clean for the Germaphobes Among Us

The biggest downside to the Grazing Table trend and one that is causing a minor uproar among some of us is the hygiene issue. And while this can never be completely controlled for, we’ve all witnessed the double-dip in our day, so we recommend prominently displaying serving utensils and evenly spacing plates throughout the table for guests to grab.

charcuterie 1The more utensils available, the less likely dirty fingers will be grabbing at the grapes and the more likely your table will pass the germ tests of even your pickiest friends.

Whether or not grazing tables are a lasting entertainment trend we don’t know. But we do know that the benefits extend far beyond their undeniably Instagram-worthy beauty.

Sure to please a crowd and ease the burden of menu planning and party clean-up, Grazing Tables are an entertainment trend we predict we’ll be seeing for years to come.

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