Appetizer Trees Are The Best Way To Spread Holiday Cheer

With feasts and festivities around every corner, the holiday season is full of meal-centric celebrations where building the perfect charcuterie board for guests to savor is always a winning appetizer idea. Some clever party hosts will set up their board to look like a Christmas tree, using all manner of colorful fruits, savory meats, and fancy cheeses to decorate it with. Without a doubt, there are those party planners out there who enjoy going all out when it comes to organizing their next big bash. If that sounds like you, then maybe you'd like to turn your Christmas charcuterie board into a three-dimensional spectacle that your friends and family can marvel at before digging in.

If you've never seen an appetizer Christmas tree, you're in for a treat. These are far from your average snack board, but you can still be just as creative when it comes to deciding what foods to include. These eye-catching holiday centerpieces can either look like towering food sculptures or can be made into several smaller trees that fit just right on dinner tables. The simplest way to make the Christmas tree-shaped base is to grab a white Styrofoam tree cone from a craft store and wrap it in tin foil, which works best for appetizer trees both big and small. If you don't have access to them, you can even use hardy fruits like the core of a pineapple to support its structure.

Choosing what foods to decorate your Christmas appetizer tree with

Any seasoned charcuterie board curator will know that choosing what tasty morsels to include is a culinary free-for-all. Maybe you've decided to deck out your Christmas appetizer tree with evenly spaced, patterned rows of spiraling food for the sake of aesthetics. Or, perhaps you prefer to stab away aimlessly for a more chaotic-looking work of food art. To make it happen, simply slice up all your meats, cheeses, fruits, and veggies into bite-sized pieces and stick a toothpick through each one to place on the appetizer tree.

One tree could spotlight savory flavors, featuring classic charcuterie elements like salami, summer sausage, and prosciutto paired with tomatoes, briny pickles, or olives. Another could have a sweeter theme with the help of fresh berries, dried fruits, or even a few soft marshmallows that dot the tree like ornaments.

Then comes the all-important inclusion of dairy, and while you could simply use all the best cheeses for a cheese board, you might want to weigh your options more carefully. You'll be working against gravity to suspend each piece for a couple of hours, so it's important not to pick a cheese that's not too soft and not a hard, crumbly type. Brie or goat cheese might fall right off the toothpick, making cheddar, gouda, and Monterrey or pepper jack some of the best choices. Don't forget to make your tree's star with a cookie cutter and some fruit!