A cheeseboard is like a masterpiece. It needs texture, color, and a story. A good cheeseboard should be a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
Here are some tips for creating a great cheeseboard:
- Choose cheeses with a variety of flavors, textures, ages, and colors. From mild to sharp, soft to hard, fresh to aged, the combinations are limitless.
- Select two to five cheeses and plan on about 3–5 ounces of cheese per person. This amount can vary depending on the course.
- It can be fun to let your selection be dictated by a theme. For example, a selection of cheeses only from Vermont, strictly goat cheeses, or maybe an offering of just Italian cheeses.
- On a budget? Stick to one to two quality cheeses instead of a wider range of less expensive cheese.
- Cheese is best displayed on a natural surface. Use wood, slate or marble.
- Offer one knife for each cheese and leave space between each cheese so that flavors don’t mingle
- Cheese is best enjoyed at room temperature. Be sure to take your cheeses out of the refrigerator 1–2 hours before serving.
- Labeling each cheese is a good idea so that your guests know what they are eating.
- Accompaniments are key. Choose rustic bread and crackers that won't overshadow the cheese. Fresh pears, apples, figs, and grapes or dried apricots, cranberries and cherries are all good choices. If you want to include berries, they are best served in the form of compotes, jams, and chutneys. Pickled veggies, nuts and charcuterie are also great additions.
- A cheeseboard doesn’t have to be served as just an appetizer. Serve cheese after the main course and before dessert, or at the end of a meal with port and chocolate.