Cheese boards look beautiful and taste amazing, which makes them the perfect snack for guests coming over. There is no wonder cheese and charcuterie boards have become a social media sensation. Seeing so many magnificent premium cheese plates, platters, and boards in our feeds will undoubtedly motivate us to make our own cheese boards at home.
When seeing all of those beautiful photos, surely you might think to yourself – it must be difficult to create a cheese board. They are actually rather simple to make – all you need is some friendly advice. And with cheese lovers like us, you’re in safe hands!
In this article let’s go through all of the main steps on how to make the perfect cheese board – from picking cheese all the way to wine pairings.
Pick the cheese of your liking
To give your guests a unique dining experience, choose two to three cheeses with distinct flavor profiles and textures, maybe even premium cheese. Your choice could be cheeses such as a mild cheddar, a creamy goat’s cheese, and an intense, crumbly Gorgonzola.
Provide space for crackers, jams, and breadsticks to meander about your cheeses as you arrange them around your main dish. Cut or crumble a portion of each cheese to start, keeping a knife handy to allow for slicing and savoring as you go.
One of our favorite places to get premium cheese that not many have heard of, is Serene Dairy. It is a small manufacturer from Europe that offers cheeses like Akkawi, Halloumi and Kashkaval – some of our favorite picks.
Do not forget about nibbly bits and chunks, as well as slices, give texture and character to a balanced board. And a good thing to remember is to always serve food at room temperature.
Add on something crunchy
Once your favorite cheeses are picked, it is time for something crunchy to be added. As delicious crunchies for a cheese plate as breadsticks, cream crackers, and crostini, options such as pretzels, melba toast, pitta chips, cheese twists, crunchy corn tortillas, and bagel thins are also amazing.
We think great cheese deserves fantastic carbs to go with it, even though it’s not strictly essential. And it doesn’t have to be particularly fancy. All you have to do is slice up a fresh baguette or artisan loaf that you bring home, or dig through your cabinet for your preferred crackers.
Widely compatible cheese boards are ones that go for various styles and allow the cheese to take center stage. And the right variation for us is one with loads of crunch and delicate flavor.
Complementary fruit are always a good idea
Consider the accompaniments as tasty snacks that people can have in between cheese samples. To put it another way – palate cleanser. Maybe after eating a salty type of cheese, it’s something sweet that’s needed. For example, fruits.
For cheese boards, any fruit will do, from juicy grapes and raspberries to cooling clementines, fragrant fresh figs, and crisp apples.
Choose ones that go well with the cheeses you have chosen. For example, apples and aged cheddar go along deliciously, while peaches and creamy burrata are excellent with fresh pears. For crunch, cherry tomatoes are fantastic for color, and radishes are excellent for cold pepperiness.
The color scheme of cheese can get very boring. A potential for an orange or red pop found in the fruits can be very fun.
Other tasty additions to your cheese board
An amazing addition to any cheese board is olives and pickles. That salty acidity will counteract the creamy, velvety cheese. Pick out some tiny cornichons or strong garlic dills, salty kalamata olives, grassy Castelvetranos, or a variety of Spanish olives.
Honey is another addition to your cheese board. Since we nearly always have these pantry essentials on hand and because their flavor characteristics perfectly complement cheese, we adore incorporating them into our recipes. Nearly every cheese pairs beautifully with sweet, flowery honeys.
Craft chocolate of a high quality is always welcomed. Rich, salty blues and creamy cheeses, gentle bloomy rinds go especially well with dark chocolate.
Nuts, seeds and dried fruit is another amazing option. Add candied pecans, toasted almonds, or crunchy hazelnuts to offer textural contrast and bring out the nutty tastes of older cheeses like Alpines and Goudas. Brightening dried fruits like apricots, cherries, and cranberries as well as dates and figs draw attention to the caramel-like characteristics of aged cheeses.
Wine pairings are important too
What will you be drinking in addition to all of these treats, last but not least? While wine is the traditional beverage to pair with cheese, other options include beer, cider, spirits, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages including fine teas, kombucha, lemonade, and even artisan sodas.
When it comes to cheese boards with a variety of flavor profiles and textures, we like to keep in mind a few types of presentation that go well with most cheeses, from lemony chevres to strong blues.
Here are our top wine pairings:
- White wine – adaptable white wines that go well with cheese include Gewürtztraminer, Grüner Veltliner, dry Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.
- Red wine – wines like Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Syrah go well with a variety of wedges.
- Rosé – when paired with cheese, it’s preferable to stick with drier varieties.
- Bubbly wine – bubbles are your best friend if your cheese selection leans more toward the creamier, denser side.
Your palette however will be cleansed by the carbonation in Champagne, prosecco, lambrusco, and other sparkling wines, making it ready for another slice of decadent cheese.
Now that you know the basic rules on how to make the perfect cheese board, it’s time to do so!
Let us know how it turned out!
Meanwhile see our other food related articles such as Tips and tricks for boiling pasta and How to make your water taste better.