Let’s all agree that New Year’s Resolutions are tired.
We make them, we break them, it’s an exercise in failed aspiration and disappointment, two things we could use less of this year. Alas, it’s important to have goals, and if you’re going to have goals, they may as well be cheesy. Nodding along? Great.
It’s time to send 2020 out with a cheeseboard and a bang, right? By now you’ve certainly hopped aboard the cheese and charcuterie bandwagon, at the very least following a bevy of Instagram accounts dedicated to cheeseboards of plenty, crafted with such artful beauty that it feels wholly unattainable to you.
You think that there’s no way that you, a mere mortal at home in your comfy pants, could possibly create such a beacon of cheesy hope in your own home.
We are here to say yes, you can make a beautiful and importantly, delicious cheese and charcuterie board for you and yours this holiday season, no matter how virtual your party, or utterly unenthused your children.
We present to you, cheeseboard goals, because cheese is the glue holding us all together in these trying times.
The first goal in cheeseboard building is, make it taste good.
You can build one of those picture-perfect hyper-stylized boards with a salami river and an architectural tower of gruyere, but if it doesn’t taste good, you’ve lost the game.
Choose fresh (and aged, eh hem) cheeses from your favorite local spot. People! befriend your cheesemonger, they are a wealth of information and passion, and you’ll be surprised with how much you learn. Milk is seasonal, so is cheese.
Ask them what’s tasting good right now. If you’ve ever had fresh goat cheese in peak springtime when the goats are munching on fresh grasses and clover, you’ll know what we mean by GOOD.
Cheeseboard accoutrements and add-ons can and should be seasonal too. Putting together the perfect holiday board? Track down some fresh currents, chocolate and fresh figs like this stunner we’re particularly fond of. Nothing screams holiday like a truly decadent cheeseboard.
Maybe your local monger just got a fresh wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy and you’ve never tasted the good stuff. Ask what’s good, that’s all we’re saying. Your carbonara will thank you.
Next goal: find your balance.
Cheese, yes, is all about personal preference, but there’s a lot to be said for balancing flavors, textures and types of cheese. Approach cheeseboard assembly with diversity in mind. You need a cheese from every team – find a hard alpine style cheese, a fresh goat log, a soft-ripened something with a bit of ooey gooey, a crumbly guy laced with blue mold. For the board to be spectacular, you need good representation. It takes all kinds, right?
Goal three: Don’t be afraid of a theme.
Who didn’t love an 80's prom theme party in college? Well, those days are done but there’s still fun to be had at home, right? Choose your theme according to occasion and preference. Maybe it’s a dessert-themed board like this one from cheesemonger extraordinaire, Lillith Spencer, aptly named, “Dessert Island.”
Maybe your company just became a Certified B Corp (heck, we’ve been one since 2014, what took you so long?) and you want to celebrate other Certified B Corps in your region, state or country. We did too! That’s why we made this delicious B Corp themed board featuring cheeses and charcuterie from our local B Corp friends (here's looking at you, Cabot!)
Goal Four: Celebrate the season – any season.
Just like to every cheese, there is a season, every cheeseboard can aptly reflect the season you’re in. In spring, we love a little fresh radish or snap pea on our cheeseboard, it’s a small celebration of new life in the garden and a preview of the bountiful produce to come.
Same goes for the fall. When the harvest is on, we like to build a cheeseboard that reflects the rustic nature of the season, with dried nuts and fruit, seeds and crusty bread. Check out this inspo below.
Goal five: celebrate any occasion, big or small, with cheese!
Our Monger friend, Carol Johnson, created this beautiful “Great Escape” cheeseboard in honor of American Cheese month, celebrated every May in the US. Cheeseboards fear no bandwagon, so don’t be afraid to build yourself a graduation cheeseboard, a St. Patrick’s Day cheeseboard, or a "I’m home for the holidays and not checking my email for two weeks," cheeseboard.
However you cheeseboard, do it confidentially, putting taste above all, and appearance a close second. Aesthetics are important, but your career as an Instagram cheese influencer might still be a way’s off. Wishing you cheese and cheer this holiday season, may all your boards runneth over.
Still looking for inspiration and how-to's? Head over to our extensive recipe collection, where we’ve taken the guesswork out of achieving your cheeseboard goals.