We LOVE entertaining, and one of our favorite ways to get a party started (whether for 2 or 200) is by creating a cheese board.
With minimal time, effort and expense, you can easily put together an impressive party appetizer.
The best part is, aside from a quick trip to the store for a few cheeses, you’re likely to have many accompaniments already in your fridge or pantry.
Here are our tips for creating the perfect cheese board for your next get together.
Make your cheese board a feast for the eyes and taste buds
When planning, take into consideration balancing different flavours (smooth, sharp, strong, nutty), textures (crumbly, gooey, hard) and colors in both the cheeses and accompaniments.
For the cheese itself, when making your selection choose one from each type – aged, soft, firm, blue. A general rule would be 3 cheeses for a smaller board, 4-5 cheeses for larger boards. You’ll need 3-4oz of cheese per person (or around a pound per 5 people). Quality is important here! You don’t need to break the bank, but it would be preferable to pick 3 high quality cheeses than 5 mediocre ones.
When selecting the cheeses, select one from each type – aged, soft, firm, blue. Make sure you have a different knife for each type of cheese; you may want to consider pre-cutting harder cheeses to make it even easier for your guests to serve themselves (while juggling a drink!)
When it comes to serving cheese with fruit and nuts there are plenty of options. When serving fruit, go for options such as thinly sliced pear or apple (squeeze with a tiny bit of lemon juice to stop browning first). Try grapes (both red and green – leave them on the stem!), figs or stone fruit such as peaches or nectarines (perfect for Summer soirees).
Dried fruit is a lovely addition to your cheese board – it’s a good idea to have some of these in the pantry ready to go for impromptu get togethers. Try dates, apricots, figs or muscatels; dried cherries are also a lovely addition.
A paste or gel such as quince, spiced pear or fig can really bring your board together. Fruit and nut logs are also a good choice.
A paste or gel such as quince, spiced pear or fig can really bring your board together. Fruit and nut logs are also a good choice – being made with a firm fruit paste and formed into a log means they can just be cut into slices prior to serving your guests.
Nuts that compliment cheese and look great on your cheese board include pistachios, raw almonds, walnuts, pecans and macadamias.
It’s always nice to use a variety of crackers and breads alongside the cheeses – bite sized pieces of crusty bread work well, along with rough crackers made with fruit and nuts (think cranberry and almond, or peach and pistachio), mixed grain and seeds (like sesame, linseed or pepitas), gluten free crackers, wafers, water crackers or oatcakes.
You might be tempted to use onion or garlic flavoured crackers, but these can be quite strong in flavor, which takes the focus off your beautiful cheese - better to stick with less heavily seasoned and more complimentary crackers.
It’s always nice to use a variety of crackers and breads alongside the cheeses
Use some greenery, whether edible (like arugula) or decorative (dried rosemary or thyme leaves) to bring your board to life (and help fill in any gaps!)
Most importantly, serving a delicious and eye-catching cheeseboard is all about helping you relax and enjoy time with your guests – it doesn’t need to be picture perfect, or follow every rule in the book!
Aim for a variety of flavors and textures and you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect platter for your next party.
For more recipes to server with your next cheese board, see our recipe post HERE.
CLICK HERE to browse our full range of entertaining boards, cheese knives and spreaders.