Australian raspberry and blackberry growers have enjoyed perfect growing conditions this season, thanks to warm days and cool nights in the southern regions, resulting in high quality and volumes of these super berries.
Berries have several advantages such as perfect pairing: raspberries go with rhubarb, thyme, ginger, stone fruits, lemon, vanilla, goats cheese, ricotta, kangaroo, chocolate and ice-cream while blackberries go with almonds, duck, venison, beef, black pepper, cinnamon, stone fruits, melon, lemon, chocolate and cream.
You can use them to transform your meals to very great ones and make everyday special: sprinkle your berries on cereal, yoghurt, fruit salad and cheese platters. Or, try combinations like sweet raspberries with crunchy nuts to add a burst of sweetness. Then, on top of that: berries have a lot of health benefits: thanks to a combination of Vitamin B and high levels of Vitamin C they are fatigue fighters, immunity booster!
Now that it is the season, let’s follow Megann Evans’ best tips to build the berry best grazing board !
Simple to stunning
Fresh Aussie raspberries and blackberries are a must for the perfect grazing board. Their flavour profile cuts through rich, creamy and salty accompaniments, and they are also a great palate cleanser between flavours. Visually the brightness of the raspberries and depth of the blackberries add great contrast to the board.
Fresh berries pair perfectly with cheeses. Go for an assortment of good quality soft and hard cheeses with different flavours, textures and colours (think white rind, blue, red wax and yellow).
Texture is key
Texture is an often forgotten key style component. Keep it interesting with smooth and coarse crackers, dehydrated fruits and lusciously plump fresh raspberries and blackberries. Try scrunching brown parchment paper underneath cheeses – it is visually beautiful and adds texture.
Go with the flow
Arrange your ingredients in curves, an “S” or triangles for striking visual balance. Avoid large mounds or sections – separate produce and spread it out. Place your most solid and largest pieces first then work your way down to the smaller pieces – always finishing off with some extra fresh raspberries and blackberries.
Props props props
Use a neutral colour palate for props – bowls, plates, serving trays, dishes and cutlery to make the berries pop. The more unique the props, the better so keep an eye out at second-hand stores or markets.
For a green and gorgeous finish and to perfectly contrast the fresh berries and add texture, garnish with herbs such as bay leaves, sage, rosemary or lemon thyme.