When you’re lounging poolside, the last thing you want to do is have meat and cheese sweating on a charcuterie board. Instead, this summer try Pepper’s Thai-inspired Charfruiterie Board with the sweet-spicy chile fruit dip from her cookbook, The Pepper Thai Cookbook. She has some expert tips for slicing and arranging fruit into a wow-worthy presentation that will impress vegans and carnivores alike.
Pepper calls this one of the easiest snacks she makes. All over Thailand, in bars and at little roadside carts, you see people dipping slices of tart and crunchy fruit into this chile-salt-sugar mixture. In her words, “Just thinking about it makes my mouth water—the salt, sweetness, and spiciness balance perfectly with the tangy fruit and pull you in for another bite.”
Below are some of her fruit-cutting techniques to master, but the magic of a charfruiterie board is that it has endless mix-and-match combinations. Get inventive with your favorite fruits, and either sprinkle on or dip it all into her fruit dip—which she originally created to go with underripe, firm guava—or our Sweet Thai Popcorn seasonings, including Tangy Tamarind and Sweet Chili, Thai Iced Coffee, and Coconut & Mango Sticky Rice. All of it pairs perfectly with our new Buon Viaggio Sarong.
Fruit to Try & How to Cut
Kiwi: Cut the skin off of the kiwi, creating five flat sides, then slice into thin pieces
Strawberries: Cut the bottom end of a strawberry off so that it sits flat, and then cut off the top at a diagonal. Use a paring knife, make 45-degree angle, triangle-shaped cuts like a zig-zag pattern around the center of the strawberry.
Watermelon: Cut ¼-inch thick rinds from a baby watermelon and then cut into wedges, or use cookie cutters for fun shapes
Passionfruit: Cut in half and serve standing up.
Oranges and tangerines: Cut both the top and bottom off the citrus so that it sits flat, cut into half, and then cut those halves into thirds, creating six pieces
Goldenberries: Pull the husks back from the fruit; leave intact
Mango: Cut the sides off the mango and then slice into small bite-size pieces, leaving the skin on for easy snacking
Ripe papaya: Cut in half, remove the seeds, and use a melon baller to scoop out the fruit
Assemble Your Charfruiterie Board
Arrange on a board in your desired shapes and sprinkle or dip into Pepper’s Sweet and Spicy Fruit Dip and/or Cravings Sweet Thai popcorn seasonings. Feel free to add crunchy snacks like nuts, toasted coconut, and more to zhuzh it up.