The weather is chilly and the holidays are around the corner, entertaining guests will become more regular and the cooler temperatures demand heartier fare. Here are some tips for building a cheese board that is sure to wow! This version uses imported cheeses and if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our Local and Regional Edition.
When building a cheese board, there are several things to consider: of course the types of cheese you’ll serve, but also quantities and accompaniments become important. If you’re serving cheese as a precursor to a fabulous meal, plan on 1-2 ounces of cheese per person. If cheese is the main event, plan on 5-6 ounces per person.
One thing you’ll definitely want to consider when building a cheese board is having a variety of flavors and textures. Our imported board features a creamy triple-creme French cheese, a sharp and nutty grana padano from Italy, a sturdy but creamy gouda from Holland, a sharp and bitter cheddar with mustard seed from England and a buttery sheep’s milk manchego from Spain. Think about how you can incorporate cheeses that use cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk so that you can taste the difference in flavor.
While chowing down on big servings of cheese is always fun and delicious, it’s also important to serve accompaniments that provide balance to the flavors of your cheeses. We like to serve some sort of candied nuts for sweetness and crunch. It’s also a good idea to serve some sort of bread item, like crackers, bread sticks or sliced baguettes. For this board we used crispy rosemary and sea salt crackers. Some sort of sweet fruit or chutney also adds for a nice balance. We have just begun pomegranate season and the sweet, juicy seeds add a nice balance to salty cheeses. And because it’s both pretty and delicious we like to serve a piece of local honeycomb from Woodland Apiaries.
Here are few other helpful tips when building a cheese board:
-Don’t overcrowd your board. You want to make sure that there is enough room to serve a knife for each type of cheese.
-Remove cheese from the refrigerator about an hour before your guests arrive. Cold cheese won’t have as strong a flavor.
-Be sure to label your cheeses so that you don’t have to repeat yourself all evening.
Now come on and let Dalynne, our resident Cheese-monger, help you build that perfect cheese board!