Cheeseboards are all the rage right now, and for good reason. With just a few delicious choices, you can make the perfect display of cheese and pairings that will delight all your guests. Eating a cheese board is best when it’s all about a discovery of tastes. Thanks to very talented makers there has never been a better time in history for us to try new cheeses and pairings than now. The difference between making a good cheese board, and the perfect cheese board is all in the curation. Many of the beautiful boards we see on social media have been built to feed your eyes, but the perfect cheese board we’re talking about today can feed your heart, soul, and your belly. Keep reading to learn more about how you can create your own cheeseboard from a certified expert.
Here’s How You Can Create the Perfect Cheeseboard, According to An Expert
How to Make Good Choices
There are many types of cheese boards styles to choose from, it depends on your personality. Are you looking for something themed around a location, focused on just one special cheese, something simple or over-the-top, or something laden with scrumptious vegetarian platter? Once you know what you’re looking for, stop for a moment and think about what flavors you want to experience.
Some Examples of How to Turn Inspiration Into the Most Delicious Cheese Board
Pizza: Kick it off with cheeses like a creamy burrata, provolone, and fontina. Add pesto crackers, tomato jam, hot honey, toasted ciabatta, sliced Italian salami, and ribbons of prosciutto to finish off the plate.
Barbecue: Try a selection of all different cheddars and smoked goudas. For pairings try toasted corn kernels, watermelon rind pickles, apple jam, barbecue chips and fun chunky salami bites.
Afternoon Tea: Feature fresh chevre cheese rolled in edible flowers, ricotta dip with fresh herbs, and luscious triple creams. Serve rosemary shortbread cookies, tart cherry jam, apricot fruit spread, sweet-glazed pecans and candied lemon peel.
No matter what your theme, putting the board together is as simple as 1, 2, 3! Before you get started, layout all your ingredients on your counter in a close group to get an idea of how big a platter or board you will need.
Anchor: Start by Anchoring your board with any items that are best corralled in bowls. These could include olives, jam, honey, or dips, but could also include standing up breadsticks in a jar or placing savory shortbread on a long skinny plate. Anchor your board by positioning these strategically, but don’t get too precious, you can move these around if needed, at any time.
Feature: Now it’s time to feature the star of the cheese board — the cheese. Decide if you would like to cut any of your cheese or leave full wedges. At boards&co, we like to mix it up a bit. If you have any small wheels like a brie-style cheese, we like to keep those whole and serve with a spreading knife. Cheddars and aged goudas we can chunk up into nuggets with the tip of a chef’s knife. Other semi-firm cheeses can be cut into sticks, triangles, or cubes. Place these around the board in piles, lines, or arrays. Have fun with this! These should be the show-offs of the board. Make your own recipe!
Fill: All that’s left now is to fill in with the rest of your pairings, you can roll or fold charcuterie and place them around a bowl on the board or in a long curvy line. Tuck in nuts, crackers, and other pairings in open spaces making sure it’s still easy for your guests to eat.
Garnish: You can tuck in some herbs here or there, but we think that these beautiful foods stand on their own. If you choose to use flowers, only use edible ones. Flowers from the floral department are not food safe!
Placement: We like to consider how something looks on the board, but we also like to think about what is sitting next to each other. No one wants olive juice on their chocolate truffles! Put pairings near the cheese you’d most like them to be eaten with.
Grouping: When in doubt, group all the same food together to avoid having a board that looks like you dropped everything on the board from 3 feet above.
Enjoy: Most of all, have fun with the process. I really believe your guests can taste how much fun you had while you were making the board.
Jenn Mason a.k.a. the “Big Cheese,” Cheesemonger, and Cheese Pairing Extraordinaire at the helm of curdbox, boards&co, and Curds & Co. She’s on a mission to help people #StopEatingBoring and is a fantastic resource for all things cheese (and pairings, of course). If you’re looking for someone who is passionate about the industry and can help de-mystify cheese, she’s it!