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How to Create a Platter that Wows

Summer is here! The Pohutukawa is blooming, the skies are blue, and we’re busy water blasting the deck for a good old fashioned Kiwi Christmas. There’s just so much to love about this time of the year.


With friends and family now able to join together to celebrate the festive season, it’s time to dust off the aprons and get back to entertaining. You can now relax with your people in the summer sunshine, sipping on a cold drink and tucking into a tasty platter. How good.


But before you reach for the same old chips and dip you’ve been dishing out for the past ten years, check out our tips and tricks for upping your platter game. We’ll help you create a platter that truly wows.


All I Want for Christmas is Food


Let’s start with the most important part of your platter – the food.

Here at Henderson’s, we’re all about 100% natural and 100% delicious food. After all, life’s too short to eat bad food.


We apply this same ethos to the art of platter creation: it’s got to taste good, be good, and be seriously satisfying. If you ask our opinion, we think every platter should meet this criteria.

So, what goes onto the perfect summer platter?


Cheese – whether you’re brave enough for blue cheese or more of a creamy camembert fan, there are a bunch of delicious cheeses in Aotearoa. We’re lucky enough to be surrounded by some epic cheese brands. Choose your favourite and add a couple of options to the mix!


Crackers, bread or cheese sticks – to accompany the cheese, of course.


Home baking – if you really want to pull out all the stops and knock your guests’ socks off, nothing beats home baking. They’ll be singing your praises and calling you a domestic god or goddess quicker than you can say “dream platter”. This cheese and bacon puff pastry Christmas tree would go down a treat at any Christmas party and these bacon and corn muffins are some of our favourites – super easy and super delicious!


Cured meats – it’s no secret that we’re big fans of meat around here. So, it probably comes as little surprise that any platter going out of our kitchen includes at least one serving of Henderson’s salami or bacon. To be honest, most of our platters include them both!


But the great thing about meat is it doesn’t have to be just meat. “Pardon?“ you say.

With so many dietary requirements floating around these days, there are tonnes of creative things you can do with our meats to cater to the gluten-free, keto or paleo folk in your group. Never mind crackers – we’ve seen salami chips, bacon strip dippers and all kinds of marvellous meats made into the perfect platter fodder. If you don’t believe us? Just Google it!


Fresh fruit and veg – fruit and veg is another great addition for people with dietary requirements. It’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and super good for you. What more could you want?! Look for bright coloured produce that will make your platter pop. Vibrant red strawberries, bright melons or green olives are some of our picks. For extra artistic points, keep the grapes on the vine to look as natural as possible.


Dips – it could be a fancy pâté, a healthy hummus or the classic Kiwi onion dip – either way, it belongs on your platter.


Nuts – not only are nuts super filling and delicious, but they’re also great space fillers on your platter. Just double-check first that none of your guests have a deathly allergy.


Platters – Assemble!


Now you’ve got all of your snacks ready to go, it’s time to put your platter together. There’s nothing wrong with chucking a bag of chips on the table, but there’s something about creating an aesthetically pleasing platter that makes it taste better. The old saying “you eat with your eyes” is all too true.


Here are some of our top tips for assembling the gram-worthy platter:


Grab a board. It doesn’t have to be a cheeseboard. Anything flat like a chopping board will do!


All things in moderation. If you’ve sliced up an entire French stick, chances are it won’t look great taking up 99% of your platter. Don’t stress – just take the less is more approach.


Start with the big things. Pop your larger items onto the board first, like your cheeses, dips, baking and meats. Once you have these assembled, you’ll see you have some small blank spots around the board. These are perfect for filling with your smaller items.


It’s not just what you eat. It’s how you eat. Include the detail: cheese knives, toothpicks, napkins. Make things easy for your guests, so they don’t have to go finger digging in a bowl of marinated olives!


Let’s eat! It’s time to put your learnings into action, jump in the kitchen and create a platter that wows. With Christmas just around the corner, there’s sure to be plenty of chances to put your platter art skills to the test. So, what are you waiting for?


Tag us in your platter masterpieces on Instagram @HendersonsFoods.