7 Fast and Fancy Upgrades for a Snack Board

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

The whole point of a snack board is to keep it extra simple and extra fuss-free, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yours a little upgrade now and then. Add one or two of these ingredients — they are on the fancier side, but easy enough to find — to your snack board to jazz it up without even trying.

1. Splurge on Marcona almonds.

Marcona almonds don’t always come cheap — look for them at places like Trader Joe’s or Costco to score the best deal — but they really are worth the spurge when you’re looking for something fancy. The Spanish variety has a sweeter, more delicate flavor than regular almonds that makes them taste extra special. You’ll usually find them roasted with a bit of oil and salt and sometimes seasoned with herbs (rosemary is a real winner) and even truffles.

2. Upgrade to flavored or smoked salt.

A sprinkle of fancy salt over whatever roasted or raw veggies you have on your snack board instantly upgrades them. Pick up a box of flaky smoked salt if you like that earthy, intense flavor that comes with it, or try making your own flavored salt using the plain salt you have at home with any mix of dried herbs, citrus zest, or spices.

3. Choose a nice jam or honey.

Every grocery store has those few shelves of good-quality jams and honeys that often seem off-limits for your everyday PB&J or yogurt. Here’s your permission to go for it and pick out one that looks nice. Add the open jar to your snack board, along with a little spoon of knife, and enjoy it alongside whatever cheeses, breads, and meats you have laid out.

4. Go for the cornichons.

Push the dill pickles aside — these itty-bitty pickles come by way of France, and they are tart and crunchy. They’re the perfect contrast to whatever richer items you have on your board, like cheese and meat. Plus, they are just so darn cute. Grab just what you need from the olive bar at the grocery store.

5. Stuff some dates.

How can dried fruit be fancy, you say? Oh, when you stuff it with soft cheese or nuts or both, it absolutely is. Blue cheese is pretty great and so are walnuts or pecans. And if you want to really go all out, wrap the stuffed dates in bacon.

Related: 5 Things to Do with Leftover Dates

6. Add some smoked salmon or lox.

You don’t need a lot of smoked salmon or lox to feel fancy. Place some on your board with cream cheese or another soft cheese (like brie or chèvre) and crackers or even mini bagels to stack up and snack on.

7. Finish with good dark chocolate.

I’ll argue the best way to make any snack board (and really any meal for that matter) a little fancier is to cap it off with dessert. There’s just something special about ending on a sweet note. No need to complicate things, though — a couple of squares, broken off with your hands, from a bar of high-quality dark chocolate is just rich and decadent enough.


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