Meat platter is a popular choice of dish for parties, picnics, BBQs and casual gatherings. Meat platters can be served to the guests with bread or rolls. There are a plethora of choices of meats and accompaniments which enhance not only the gourmet value of the meat platter but also enhances its nutritious value.
Types of meat
For a perfect meat platter, 2-3 types of meat are more than sufficient. Cured meats such as salami, ham, sausage or turkey are the most popular choices of meat to be put in meat platters. You can also use an assortment of cured meats of varied types to make the platter all the more appetizing.
Cheese is a popular accompaniment for meat platters. Meat lovers widely prefer meat and cheese platters. You can put various types of cheese in the meat platter. Each type of cheese varies with respect to texture and taste. Thus, a meat platter having a blend of cheese with different textures and tastes is certainly going to please the taste buds of your guests. The common types of cheese used in meat platter are as follows.
- Mozzarella or Camembert or Epoisses cheese having a soft and creamy texture.
- Berry goat cheese has a soft texture and strong flavour.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese has a hard texture and nutty flavour.
- Gruyere cheese having a semi-soft texture.
- Feta cheese having a crumbly texture.
- Cheddar or Provolone which are smoked cheese.
- Gorgonzola or Roquefort cheese which are Italian blue cheese having a creamy texture.
- Manchego cheese having a firm texture and buttery taste.
- English farmhouse cheese which is semi-firm and is full of flavour.
Crackers and bread
There are many types of crackers to choose from for your meat platter. Both plain and flavoured crackers are available in the market. Many people prefer highly flavoured crackers. But if you have put cheese in the platter, it is better to opt for plain crackers because flavoured crackers tend to mask the flavour of the cheese. When it comes to the choice of bread, any kind is suitable even though many chefs recommend French baguette for meat platters.
Add a touch of sweetness to the meat platter by including fresh fruits. Fresh fruits of various kinds not only impart sweetness but also enhance the visual display of the platter by adding various colours. Some of the common types of fruits which are used in meat platters are as follows.
- Figs enhance the taste of the meat platter, especially when accompanied by cheese.
- Apples of various types add a mix of sweet flavours to the meat platter. Lemon juice or fresh fruit juice must be sprinkled on the apple pieces to prevent them from becoming brown.
- Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and grapes blend in perfectly especially with cheese.
Nuts add crunch to the meat platter. An assortment of nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, etc. can be added to the platter.
Olives add a hint of sourness to the sweet combination of cheese and fruits which enhance the taste of the platter. Both black and green olives can be put on the platter.
Dips can also be added to the platter. Some popular choices include roasted red pepper dip, onion dip and walnut dip.