- Bettina Applewhite
Creating the Perfect Cheese Board
I love a good cheese board. It's the perfect way to start a party and an even better meal. The creativity you can express with a cheese board is endless. Because of all the options, you'll never make the same board twice. I encourage you to keep trying different combinations and keep your accompaniments fresh with the season.
Cheese boards are a no-fuss appetizer for your guests who are arriving for your party. You can make it ahead of time, even the day before and pull it out about an hour or so before the party. Cheese works best at room temperature so it's good to check it off your to-do list early.
To build the perfect cheese board, you'll want to start with 2 - 3 cheeses as a foundation. A rule of thumb is to have a soft cheese, a hard cheese, and a uniquely flavored cheese. This way there is something to satisfy everyone's preferences and to try something new. You can try a hard cheese like cheddar or parmesan, a soft cheese like mozzarella or brie or a uniquely flavored cheese like blue cheese or goat cheese. Slice the hard cheese ahead of time for your guests so it's easy for them to enjoy.
A perfect cheese board will have 2 different styles of breads. You can try water crackers, wheat or sesame crackers. There are fresh and toasted baguettes. You can have simple flavors like sea salt or bold flavors with rosemary or garlic. There are no wrong choices here so be playful.
After you have filled your space with your cheeses and breads, fill in the remaining space with fruit and nuts and seasonal items. See what is fresh and local for the best flavors. In the fall, you can choose pears, apples, persimmons, and roasted butternut squash. In the winter, pomegranate, grapefruit, and clementine are best. The spring and summer give you the most options with their abundance of produce. You can try cherries, raspberries, figs, and peaches.
Don't forget that jams and jellies are also delicious with cheese and crackers. Just place your jams and jellies in small decorative bowl and decide if you like the sweetness of the jam with the tanginess of the cheese.
Tips on making the perfect cheese board
Choose 2 - 3 different types of Cheese (Hard, Soft, Unique)
Choose 2 types of bread to serve (Crackers, Toast, or Fresh)
Fill remaining space with fruit, nuts, or jams (Your sweet treats)
Once you start making cheese boards, you'll be inspired to keep making them. It's a great way to try out different cheeses and combinations. Often I'll make a cheese board for dinner with wine, a miniature size as a snack, or for lunch. Okay, I make them often. There's just so yummy and fun!