If you’re hosting a party or a movie watching night or a dinner, there is nothing more chic than a cheese board. Not only can you put it all together before your guests arrive, it will keep everyone happy until the main course arrives. And at a cocktail party, a hearty cheese board can be the main event.
Even though cheese boards seem simple, they can still leave you standing in the cheese shop scratching your head at how to curate the perfect board that will impress and delight your guests. We’ve put together this simple guide that will give you the tools to put together the perfect board at any budget. If you want to see actual cheese boards at different price points, we put together a few here.
STEP ONE: Choose a gorgeous cutting board to display your cheese and other delicious goodies. It’s in the name, you need a board for your cheese board. Sure, you can go rustic and use whatever you have around the house but we recommend using one of our stunning cutting boards. Our state boards add a personal touch highlighting where you’re from or where you live now. We also have floral and geometric designs that are modern and hip.
STEP TWO: Let’s start with the cheese. You need to decide how many cheeses you want to serve and that can depend on how many guests you have coming. But at least 3 is a good sampling and 4 is perfect. We are going to give you categories of cheeses that you can then mix and match. The key is variety of taste, texture and smell.
STEP THREE: Select your cheeses. We recommend these 4 cheese groups. You should pull at least one from each and then add more if you are serving a larger crowd.
1. Young & Creamy for lightness and freshness. This category includes ricotta, goat cheese and fresh mozzarella.
2. Firm & Aged for salty, firmness. This category includes asiago, manchego, nicolette and parmesan.
3. Blue for the stinky factor for the board. This category includes Gorgonzola, Maytag, Stilton and Roquefort.
4. Soft & Aged for buttery, richness. This category includes Brie, Camembert and Humbolt Fog.
Make sure to provide a well rounded group of cheese that will please everyone.
STEP FOUR: Choose your accompaniments. There are so many things you can add to your board that will highlight and enhance the board. You definitely want to start with a bread or cracker. Your guests need something to spread their cheese on so this is a must. You can go as simple as opening a sleeve of crackers or you can go fancy and grill some sliced sourdough.
I also love something fresh and bright like fruit. You can really choose any kind you like from berries to apples to melons. No matter which you choose, they will bring a lightness and a sweetness to the board. You can really beef up your board by adding meats like salami or prosciutto. And it’s always nice to provide nuts or olives to round out your board. Again, all of these are optional, remember the cheese is the star.
STEP FIVE: Gild the lily. If you really want to go over the top, you can add some delicious sauces like honey, a grainy, spicy mustard or a nice fruit jam. And if you want additional style points, you can put some fresh herbs on the board for decoration. Rosemary is beautiful and easy to come by. Lastly, you can go to your local wine shop and ask them for wine pairings based on the cheese you bought. This will really impress and educate your guests.