How to Craft the Perfect Cheese Board
It’s always the right time for a cheese plate, but with the holiday season quickly approaching there’s no better time than now! Cheese boards (or charcuterie boards, if you include the meat) are a staple for any holiday table, but they can feel a bit intimidating to put together. If you’ve seen the gorgeous photos that circulate on popular social media sites, you may be thinking that cheese boards are simply too much work. We’re here to assure you that not only are they worth it, putting one together is a piece of (cheese)cake!
To craft a beautifully delicious cheese board this holiday season, all you need to do is follow these simple steps: something aged, something new, something soft, something blue. That’s right – we love cheese so much we decided to marry it.
Aged cheeses are known for their sharp, intense flavor. These cheeses add sophistication to any dish – including a cheese board!
For your aged selection, we suggest including cheeses such as cheddar, gouda, gruyere, Manchego, or Parmigiano Reggiano.
It’s fun to spice up your cheese board with new items! Include a fresh goat cheese drizzled with honey or even cheese that you’ve never tried before!
Soft cheeses contain a lot of moisture, making them indulgent and spreadable. When added to crackers, soft cheese makes a perfect snack!
Some cheeses that would look and taste great on your board include a soft-ripened brie or camembert. You can also add a Boursin cheese to the middle of your plate for easy spread options.
Blue cheese is an absolute must-have for every cheese board, adding a unique flavor to the palette. The sharp and salty taste complements the rest of the cheese offerings while the versatile consistency allows it to be enjoyed in many different ways.
French Roquefort is one of the most popular blue cheese options, with a Danish Blue or Cambozola triple crème brie/blue combination also heading up the list.
I’ve chosen my cheese… but how much should I include?
You should typically incorporate four or five different cheeses to your board with a healthy mix of varying milk from cows, sheep, and goats.
A good rule of thumb is to have three to four ounces per person when serving your board as an appetizer.
What other items should I add to my cheese board?
The cheese board accouterments are just as essential as the cheese itself! The key to a great cheese board is to include pairings that bring out the taste of the cheese without overbearing it.
Spanish Marcona Almonds are an absolute must-have for your cheese board! These small and sweet almonds are roasted in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, offering a delicious pairing with your cheeses.
Crostini is a fantastic and crispy accompaniment to your cheeses, while a sliced baguette and assorted crackers are also typical (and delicious!) choices. When choosing crackers, steer clear of heavily salted or flavored options.
Dried fruits such as cranberries and apricots bring a healthy and colorful twist to your board.
Condiments, such as honey, mustards, or preserves, are a fun addition to your board that allows guests to add a little, or a lot, of flavor to each bite.
Finally, fresh fruit is a natural pairing that makes your cheese board pop with color. Raspberries, tangerines, pear, grapes, olives, and strawberries are all great go-to choices.
How do I serve my cheese board?
There are a variety of vehicles to serve from, including slate, wood, marble, or granite. Once you’ve chosen your board, make sure not to crowd your cheeses! Leaving room between each option allows for smooth cutting. It is also important to use separate utensils for each cheese and pairing to avoid cross-contamination of the flavors. Be sure to label the cheeses so your guests know what they are eating! Finally, allow the cheese to rest at room temperature for at least an hour before serving, as this helps to bring out the flavors of the cheese.
Do you want to learn more about cheese?
Market Basket wishes you a very happy, and delicious, holiday season. Merry Christmas!