How to Build a Perfect Cheese Board
Cheese board is one of the easiest, yet very elegant appetizers to treat your guests. It is an amazing combination of characteristics, isn’t it? A party or dinner simply can not go wrong if you are enjoying the taste of different types of cheese combined with nuts, fruit or jams.
It is not too difficult to build a good cheese board, but we’ll teach you how to make it absolutely perfect!
Below you’ll find some easy and useful tips:
1. Calculate what you need
There is a huge selection of delicious cheeses, but you need no more than 3 to 5 types for your boar to taste all of them and to feel the difference.
There is one simple formula to calculate the amount of each cheese: take 2 to 4 ounces of each kind per person depending on how full is your table.
2. Choose your variant of cheese board
There are two types of cheese boards that people tend to like the most – dessert and appetizer. Each of these boards has its own set of perfect combination of cheeses and complementary food.
Dessert Cheese Board
Appetizer Cheese Board
Most preferred types of cheese
Soft & Semi-Soft
Soft-ripened, hard & Semi-hard
However, this rule is pretty flexible, and you can mix and match different ingredients to create your own unique board.
3. What cheese do you want
There is a great variety of cheeses and no less variety of people’s tastes. So the first principle is to choose cheeses that you do like.
To be more formal (or for those who are in love with all types of cheese) I should say that a good practice is to have cheeses from different milk sources as well as different texture:
- sources: cow, goat and sheep;
- textures: hard-pick, semi-hard, semi-soft, soft.
To make it easier, we grouped the most popular and beloved cheeses by texture to make a small cheat sheet for you.
- Fresh creamy cheese: Goat Cheese (Chèvre), Ricotta, Fromage Blanc, Queso Fresco
- Soft-ripened: Brie, Camembert, Cambazola
- Washed-rind: Limburger, Taleggio, Epoisses de Bourgogne
- Blue: Stilton, Gorgonzola, Ruquefort
Young Gouda, Havarti, Fontina, Munster
Gruyère, Comté, Cheddar, Manchego, Jarlsberg, Cascaval
Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, aged Manchego, aged Gouda, Edam
4. Choose perfect accompaniments
Now when the most important part of the ingredient selection is over, we are moving to the pairings that will make your cheese board exclusive. Please, do not go crazy with pairings, keep in mind that it is still just a cheese board. You need to complement your cheeses, not to make them inconspicuous.
Bread: A win-win solution here is grilled French bread or toasted baguette slices. You can also add some plain crackers or whole grain bread.
Fresh & Dried Fruit: All the fruits that are not too sweet will work. Pay attention to these accompaniments:
- fresh figs
- dried apricots
- dried cranberries
Olives: To add something savory to the board you can use marinated olives of your choice: black or green.
Meats : Depending on your taste preference you can use different meats. But you’ll never go wrong with dry cured meat like prosciutto and soppressata, or with some thinly sliced hard salami.
Nuts: Excellent company for all the cheeses is Marcona almonds and candied walnuts. The nuts add a little bit of sweetness and bring a sophisticated taste to any cheese board.
Vegetables: If your choice is an appetizer cheese board – add some cherry tomatoes and pickled veggies. You’ll find them good with cheese and meat.
Condiments: If you’re pairing cheese and meat add some whole grain mustard to bring a piquant note. You can also play with different jam variations. For example, fig jam pairs perfectly with Gorgonzola and creamy Brie, and apricot is great with goat cheese. In addition, the icing on the cake is to serve some honey with your cheese board. It goes incredibly well with fresh, blue and some hard cheeses.
From here on, fellows, you are ready to build your own amazingly tasty cheese board and share it with friends and family. Finally, don’t forget to treat yourself with a glass of wine which is so good with cheese!