If you are organising a social occasion this summer, an eternal dilemma can be what food to serve your guests. A full sit-down dinner can feel too formal and time consuming, but you will still want some snacks and nibbles to keep everyone from getting too hungry and to accompany the drinks.
From weddings to cocktail parties and summer garden socials, the grazing table is a popular solution. The food is set out on an easily accessible platter to allow your guests to dip in and out of whatever takes their fancy. This enables them to sample a little bit of everything, and there is enough variety to suit all tastes and appetites.
This concept is nothing new of course, from tapas bars to buffet style restaurants. A grazing table differs from a traditional buffet in that there are no foods that need to be kept at a specific temperature in chafing dishes, so all the food can be arranged to create an attractive visual display.
There is no need for the host to spend their time walking around serving snacks or slaving away in the kitchen, because all the food can be prepared in advance and set out for the guests to help themselves. This leaves everyone free to chat and mingle as they enjoy the refreshments.
This brings us to the question of which foods you should include in your grazing table. Great choices include artisan breads and cheeses, together with a selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Dips, chutneys, crackers, nuts and olives all make perfect grazing table items. Think of the ingredients native to the Mediterranean regions and you can’t go far wrong!
A selection of cured meats such as chorizo and Iberico ham that are sourced from direct suppliers are also a must-have for your grazing table. Classic Iberico ham from Spain that is produced from Iberian pigs has a unique flavour and texture that sets it apart from regular meats.
The pig’s genetic structure allows them to store fat in their muscles, meaning that the meat is unusually tender and infused with flavour. The diet of the pigs also plays a role in the special flavour of the meat: they graze on mountain pastures with a rich biodiversity of grasses and herbs, and also forests where they forage acorns and other organic food sources.
The resulting meat has a wonderful combination of sweet and nutty flavours and is mouth-wateringly tender. Despite the fatty content of the meat, it is considered to have a higher proportion of the beneficial unsaturated fats than meat from many other sources.
The expertise of the curing process, with carefully controlled temperature and humidity conditions over several months or even years, puts the finishing signature flavour on the meat.
It’s widely used in many traditional Spanish tapas dishes, including croquettes, salads, or it can simply be served in slices to enjoy with a baguette, fresh tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil.
If you are looking for a Spanish deli in London, why not pay us a visit today!